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Twelve Leaders Adopt Principles to Accelerate Innovation


Higher Education and the IT Industry Address Open Software Research

Armonk, NY & Kansas City, MO - 19 Dec 2005: Leaders from four information technology companies, seven American universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced today that they have adopted first-of-a-kind guiding principles to accelerate collaborative research for open source software.

Specifically, the companies and universities agreed:

-- That intellectual property arising from selected research
collaborations will be made available free of charge for commercial and
academic use.
-- To an established set of guidelines that address the rights of the
participants and the public.

These twelve enterprises believe the principles will accelerate innovation and contribute to open software research across a breadth of initiatives, thus enabling the development of related industry standards and greater interoperability, while managing intellectual property in a more balanced manner.

“Open source software and open standards jointly developed by universities, government and industry can create a powerful platform for collaborative innovation,” said Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president of Technology & Intellectual Property for IBM. “These principles are based on a balanced approach to IP management and should stimulate additional joint industry and university research projects.”

In August, IBM and the Kauffman Foundation, a private foundation that focuses on advancing innovation and entrepreneurship, cosponsored a University and Industry Innovation Summit at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. To accelerate collaborative innovation, current intellectual property barriers were evaluated and plans were drafted to support a variety of research relationships. Recognizing the existence of a complex continuum of possible research partnerships, the Summit team agreed to address open collaboration models, in particular instances where researchers will create and disseminate software knowledge freely to the public.

“American universities and industry have a long history of collaborative efforts that have spawned significant innovations and fueled our entrepreneurial economy,” said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “It is imperative to take the lessons from these collaborative relationships so that we may improve the process by which discoveries and innovations move into the marketplace.”

J. Strother Moore, chair of the Department of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin added, “Open collaboration can be especially important for university computer science departments, where ready access to industrial experts and data can help us focus in a timely way on the right problems to solve. In addition, open collaboration resonates with our primary mission to society: education and the creation and dissemination of knowledge.”

Pervasive acceptance of the open collaboration principles by other universities and the IT industry, as well as the development of guiding principles for other research agreements remains at the core of the Summit team’s continuing agenda. The goal is to shorten the time from the first spark, or idea, to the commencement of research on that idea.

Summit participants developing and adopting these principles include the Kauffman Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University (Penn.), Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.), Stanford University (Calif.), University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, The University of Texas at Austin, Cisco, HP, IBM and Intel. Additional collaborators include the National Science Foundation, the Office of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and the National Academies’ Government University Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR).


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