New platform improves access to UNH innovations


Monday, July 6, 2020

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by: 
Chelsey DiGiuseppe

UNHInnovation (UNHI) is excited to announce the launch of a new online platform, license.unh.edu, that will make it simple for anyone to quickly and easily obtain a non-exclusive license of select intellectual property (IP) from the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

UNHI’s central mission is to get UNH ideas out into the world, and launching license.unh.edu is the conclusion of a year-long process of evaluating potential bottlenecks in business processes to help advance that mission and achieve a wider reach and distribution of the university’s IP.

“For some licenses, we can reduce the transaction time from six weeks to six minutes,” says Marc Sedam, UNHI managing director and vice provost for innovation and new ventures at UNH. “UNH regularly completes over 100 licenses each year so this focus on efficiency helps make UNH’s innovations more accessible to all and gives our talented team time to focus on more complex projects that maximize the social and economic benefits of the university’s research outputs.” 

The new functionality is made possible by a platform called E-Lucid, itself a university-born technology from the University College London. It automates the licensing process where possible to make transactions quick and efficient for all parties, even for licenses with complex approval processes. The workflow for a license from UNH typically includes back-and-forth correspondence, approvals, invoicing, and payment. With this new tool, the chain of steps can be customized for each license type. The platform also has online payment options and allows for digital product download, improving customer service and saving time.

While not all of UNH’s IP licenses can be facilitated through this platform, the university has designs, software, curricula, select patents, and images available for non-exclusive license. For example, UNH holds the copyrights to almost 50,000 photographic negatives by famous photographer Lotte Jacobi. Jacobi spent the last 30 years of her life residing in Deering, New Hampshire and her collection was donated to the University of New Hampshire in 1985. She is an important figure in the history of photography and is famous for her portraits of prominent 20th century figures, such as Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, and J. D. Salinger. UNHI gets many requests throughout the year from organizations, businesses, and individuals who want to license Jacobi’s images for use in museums, textbooks, movies, and more. Without license.unh.edu, the licensing process takes a significant amount of time and labor, for both UNHI and the licensee. This new platform will automate and streamline these requests. On top of making the licensing process more efficient, this tool provides an organized online storefront for UNH assets like the Jacobi images. “Our promotion of her work has been hampered by the lack of a centralized database of all of her photographs,” says Beth Sheckler, licensing manager for creative and digital works. “Being able to show Jacobi’s collection online to anyone with a link, all together in an organized way will really change the visibility of her work, which is so historically significant, and has really lacked the global attention it deserves. We’re beyond excited to show the collection off, especially the works that no one has really ever seen.”

The UNH InterOperability Lab is also utilizing the platform to license many of its products. The UNH-IOL is an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry. The UNH-IOl has commercialized several software tools that it licenses to its customers to perform in-house testing. Last year, the UNH-IOL facilitated almost 100 separate non-exclusive licenses for these networking tools. Each transaction requires roughly ten steps and involves 3-5 UNH employees to complete. “Although it will save us time, it also will save our customers time and improve their experience licensing our products,” says Jeff Lapak, director of the UNH-IOL. “The system can be set up to send customers reminders of next-steps and important action items that need attention, which helps to push the process forward. That’s something we’re really excited about, improving customer experience.” The majority of the UNH-IOL’s tools will be available through the platform and they are also considering adding services and membership signup right from license.unh.edu in the future.  

Be sure to check out license.unh.edu to see all of the UNH intellectual property and assets now available on the platform.