New Business Intelligence Unit Aims to Improve UA Startup Successes

New Business Intelligence Unit Aims to Improve UA Startup Successes

By Amanda BallardUniversity Relations - Communications
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The Business Intelligence Unit team: Jason Dewland, Joann MacMaster, Jennifer Martin, Jen Watson, John Jackson and Cindy Elliott (Photo courtesy of Tech Launch Arizona)
The Business Intelligence Unit team: Jason Dewland, Joann MacMaster, Jennifer Martin, Jen Watson, John Jackson and Cindy Elliott (Photo courtesy of Tech Launch Arizona)

If a UA researcher has an idea for a new technology that will help databases run faster, he or she will need to know more about the computer science industry to be able to bring that innovation to market. But where does one look for that information?

Now, thanks to a unique partnership between Tech Launch Arizona and University Libraries, there's a place researchers can turn for the resources they need to help transform their ideas into reality.

Tech Launch Arizona and University Libraries have teamed up to to create a new Business Intelligence Unit, which will be dedicated to getting University startups successfully launched.

The Business Intelligence Unit will support UA researchers and faculty members by leveraging the research services provided by University Libraries with Tech Launch Arizona's commercialization tools.

John Jackson, market strategies consultant at Tech Launch Arizona, said the new unit will provide the resources to guide startups through the commercialization process, from early product development to the strategic planning stages.

"The primary goal of the Business Intelligence Unit is to create a needed resource for researching and reporting critical business information used in the commercialization decision-making process in TLA," Jackson said. "This is a cross-boundary effort in which we are striving to incorporate additional people, resources and departments for the successful commercialization of University intellectual property."

UA researchers and faculty members rely on Tech Launch Arizona to help advance their ideas, inventions and technologies, whether they are working toward patenting their inventions or forming companies. Jackson said that research plays a crucial role in the commercialization process.

Rather than attempting to perform industry research on their own, campus community members working with TLA will be able to make smarter, well-informed business decisions thanks to the assistance of trained librarians.

"As far as we can tell, we are the only library that is partnering with their campus commercialization unit on proof-of-concept research work," said Cindy Elliott, assistant librarian for the Research Services Team at University Libraries. "We find, analyze and synthesize available industry and market data in those areas where our BIU colleagues have identified demand for their technology may lie."

A communal approach to helping campus innovators frees the Business Intelligence Unit from standard constraints, Jackson said.

"This level of library-tech commercialization collaboration for the advancement of a university's intellectual property is a novel concept," Jackson said. "This relationship allows the Business Intelligence Unit to have unprecedented access to pinpoint in-depth, actionable information pooled from every accessible University library, database, catalog, publication and article."

According to Jackson and Elliot, the innovative partnership will help campus community members work more efficiently and effectively.

"This is a new role for academic librarians," Elliott said. "We are really excited about this campus partnership to transform the economic and innovation landscape" at the UA.

Read more about the Business Intelligence Unit on the Tech Launch Arizona website.

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