Top Universities Continue Software Intellectual Property Reform

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Georgia Tech is one of the seven leading U.S. universities to help IBM advance the state-of-the-art in software and prove the benefits of collaborative innovation with the open source community.

New open research projects designed to speed creation of IT healthcare tools, privacy & security solutions, and improve software quality

Yorktown Heights, NY, December 14, 2006 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and seven leading U.S. universities today announced new open software research projects under a program designed in conformance with the Open Collaboration Research Principles, a set of guidelines announced previously to help promote an open approach to overcome university-industry intellectual property challenges.

Under IBM's new Open Collaborative Research program, results developed between IBM Research and top university faculty and their students for specific projects will be made available as open source software code and all additional intellectual property developed based on those results will be openly published or made available royalty-free.

Universities participating in the program include Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Rutgers University, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Davis. Initial projects will address software quality, privacy and security, mathematical optimization and clinical decision support.

"The program will allow faculty and students to freely conduct research without concern over IP management issues," said Stuart Feldman, vice president Computer Science, IBM Research. "This will not only help advance the state of the art in software but also will serve as a great illustration of the benefits of collaborative innovation with the open source community."

The program will enable researchers at IBM to actively collaborate with faculty and students at top U.S. universities on a number of strategically defined software projects, specifically chosen for their immense societal importance, technical difficulty and need for a collaborative effort.

Beth Burnside, Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley, agrees that, "Our faculty are pleased to work with IBM as part of IBM's program in open collaboration. Berkeley faculty have long held that in many fields the impact and public benefit of university research is maximized by an open collaboration approach". And Pradeep Khosla, Dean, Carnegie Mellon University adds, "This program is driving additional investment in innovative university and IT industry research and CMU has always been keenly interested in growing these relationships."

The research aims for major advancements in the development of defect-free software, new healthcare solutions for better decision making by doctors and nurses, new technology to protect a person's identity and secure a company's data from thieves, and advanced mathematics to optimize methods for how we live and work everyday.

More specifically, the topics and universities for the initial collaborations are:

  • Software Quality (Rutgers University and University of California at Berkeley): The collaboration will develop program analysis techniques and tools for detecting and correcting software defects before they reach customers, focusing on industrial-size framework-based software systems that pose new challenges in their size and complexity.
  • Privacy and Security Policy Management (Carnegie Mellon University and Purdue University): The team will address the difficult problems faced by organizations in creating and managing end-to-end privacy and security solutions covering all types of data and work to drive the adoption of the open standards needed to achieve this.
  • Mathematical Optimization Software (Carnegie Mellon University and University of California at Davis): The collaboration is intended to significantly advance the size and scope of industrial problems that can be solved with mathematical optimization software.
  • Clinical Decision Support (Columbia University and Georgia Institute of Technology): The collaboration will include computer scientists and clinicians working in a variety of settings to create easy to use tools and interfaces for clinical decision support, removing barriers to IT adoption in this area.

These research projects demonstrate continued benefit from the Open Collaboration Principles announced by the University & Industry Innovation Summit Team in December 2005. The principles complement other industry and university initiatives and accelerate collaborative research for open source software by providing guidelines for handling research results.

The IBM program is intended to accelerate the innovation and development of open software across a breadth of areas, thus enabling the development of related industry standards and greater interoperability, while managing intellectual property in a manner that enhances these goals.

University & Industry Innovation Summit Team participants:
Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, The University of Texas at Austin, Cisco, HP, IBM, and Intel.

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