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September 20, 2010 -- University of Utah faculty develop a wealth of software, and they now have a resource that will help them organize, refine and make it more commercially viable. That resource is the Software Development Center, which will open its doors this month in a newly remodeled space in the Technology Commercialization Office located at 615 Arapeen Drive in Research Park. The Software Development Center is a joint effort between the University of Utah's Technology Commercialization Office (TCO), which manages all intellectual property on campus, and the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute.

The center, in its experimental phase, has already helped faculty like Professor Mohamed H. Hamdan, a cardiologist who established F2 Solutions, a company that hopes to provide health-care professionals with solutions for diagnosing, treating and managing patients suffering from episodes of fainting or falling.

"We would not have been able to get this project off the ground without the Software Development Center," Hamdan says.

Frank Norris, a technology licensing associate at TCO who has worked closely on the new Software Development Center, says the center offers a "gratifying" solution to faculty who develop products on campus. "Too often we simply license technologies to outside parties for commercial development," he notes.

In addition to helping researchers and entrepreneurs develop software, the center will also serve a broad range of objectives:
  • Creating a central repository for all campus software projects.
  • Creating startup companies based on software projects.
  • Commercializing software developed on campus.
  • Providing students with professional experience.
  • Developing a talent pool for the state's software industry.
  • Making software developed on campus available to the public.

By working with established programs like the successful SCI Institute, the center will provide a much needed central agency to drive all software development projects across campus. "The Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute has attracted some of the most talented people in the field, and we are looking forward to branching out to assist other faculty and departments," said Greg Jones, the associate director of the SCI Institute, and director of the Software Development Center.

Calling the center a "win-win" for the university, Jones adds that faculty will get "access to some of the best computer programmers anywhere. Students get valuable internship opportunities. The university gets the chance to generate income from the sale of software licenses. And people outside the university will have much easier access to the wealth of software developed here."

"By collaborating with the TCO in founding the SDC, we provide a channel for our entrepreneurial energies and at the same time create a valuable resource to the campus in helping ideas outside of the SCI Institute to benefit from our expertise," said Chris Johnson, distinguished professor of computer science and the director of SCI Institute.


About the Technology Commercialization Office

The Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) is responsible for managing the intellectual properties of the University of Utah. TCO's mission is to facilitate the commercialization of the University's scientific and technical research findings for the benefit of the citizens of Utah and the general public through the evaluation, management, protection and licensing of the University's intellectual property. Learn more at www.tco.utah.edu.

About the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute

The Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute is a permanent research institute at the University of Utah. Directed by professor Chris Johnson, the Institute is home to over 170 faculty, students and staff. The faculty, drawn primarily from the School of Computing, Department of Bioengineering, and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is noted for its breadth of collaborations both nationally and internationally. Learn more at www.sci.utah.edu.