MassBio and MHTC to Cross Promote Innovation Efforts

February 18, 2011

The Massachusetts High Tech Council (MHTC) today launched the Innovation Access Network (IAN), a Web-based network connecting innovative technology providers with public and private sector technology seekers, to accelerate the innovation economy across New England and beyond.  The launch of IAN was announced at the MHTC’s 2011 Annual Meeting, which featured a keynote address from U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

IAN (www.innovationaccess.org) empowers established and entrepreneurial technology providers to securely and efficiently share their innovations and ideas with prime contractors, government agencies, research laboratories, universities, and enterprise corporations to create new business connections and collaboration around critical innovations.  Much like the technology cluster it connects, IAN will facilitate the development of technology across sectors, including defense technology, IT, communications, advanced materials, medical devices, clean technology and more.

IAN will be cross promoted with MassBio's Innovation Exchange, a web-based portal for biotechnology innovation.

IAN was developed over the past year in collaboration with MHTC members, including Textron, BAE Systems, and the University of Massachusetts; and partners like the Natick Solider Systems Center.  Those organizations, along with the Charles Stark Draper Labs and the Massachusetts Port Authority have joined IAN as “seekers” of technology.

“Massachusetts and New England are home to the nation’s leading technology firms, defense contractors, universities, research labs and small businesses, and IAN is the connective tissue for the region’s innovative technology cluster that will help create new partnerships, business opportunities, and jobs,” said Senator Kerry.

IAN leverages proven Web-based networking tools to create a technology asset map that allows users to drive the network’s content providing stakeholders with cutting-edge social networking capabilities in an exclusive and targeted virtual environment.  IAN serves as a clearinghouse for the innovation technology economy, by giving companies of all sizes and maturity the opportunity to market their innovative technology solutions to organizations with specific needs.

“IAN is the centerpiece of the Council’s efforts to create and implement a strategy to grow and enhance the New England technology cluster and to galvanize the region’s political, industrial and academic assets,” said MHTC President Christopher Anderson.  “We look forward to working with innovators, seekers and collaborators to expand the reach of IAN across New England and the world.”

Last week, the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, announced that the United Kingdom became the first international partner for IAN.  In addition, regional associations like the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, the New Hampshire High Technology Council and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation have assisted on IAN’s development and will support member outreach.

IAN serves two primary customer profiles:

  • “Innovators” - Typically small businesses or entrepreneurs who have a great idea they want to share, develop or sell.  In order to build a strong base of innovators in the system, MHTC has waived the annual fee for the first 100 innovators to sign up for IAN.
  • “Seeker” – While not defined by size, seekers are generally larger technology firms, universities, research labs or government agencies.  They use IAN to discover new innovations or to find solutions for a specific technology need or contract.  Seekers must be MHTC members to to enroll in IAN.

IAN was custom built and will be maintained by Quincy, MA-based ideaPoint, a global leader in innovation management and software solutions.

Anderson also said that MHTC has partnered with the University of Massachusetts’ Donahue Institute to integrate dynamic cluster asset mapping into the new IAN network.   This asset mapping will catalog the region on the whole, as well as create drill downs for each New England state, and will be refreshed annually.

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