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The InnovationXchange (IXC) is an Australian created international knowledge exchange, whose purpose is to identify and create collaborative business, research and policy opportunities. This unique not-for-profit business model supports open innovation and enables the safe and fast transfer of knowledge and ideas within and across corporate and geographical boundaries through the IXC Intermediary Service.
IXC Intermediary Service
The IXC Intermediary Service operates under a rigorous legal and ethical framework to enable organisations to connect with external sources of knowledge, ideas or technologies, or markets for business development in a way that protects their IP and know how.
The network of IXC Intermediaries is made up of individuals with PhD or Masters qualifications who are highly skilled scientists or technologists. They work within client organisations to gain a deep understanding of a clients strategic intent, capabilities and gaps, in order to identify and connect tailored connections for business growth. An IXC Intermediary may be deployed within an organisation in the innovation, business development, technology sourcing, research alliances and/or commercialisation teams. They bring an outsiders perspective to these activities.
IXC Intermediaries are trained in ethics, IP Management, creative thinking and a proprietary framework for analysing technologies. IXC Intermediaries operate under strict confidentiality agreements, which allows them to share a clients strategic information amongst themselves both through the online knowledge management system, the IXC Vault, and through weekly cohort meetings. This creates a powerful networking effect to create better connections faster. These connections can be made within the client base or the broader marketplace.
IXC Intermediaries assist clients to:
- create collaborative and convergent business linkages;
- open up new channels to market;
- find new and emerging technologies;
- accelerate and improve internal and external R&D connections; and,
- improve exploitation of existing IP.
Proprietary step-wise disclosure processes ensure that the client has complete control over what is disclosed at each stage of the connection. This prevents any IP contamination or leakage. The InnovationXchange disclaims any right to IP which may be developed as a by product of collaborations.
The InnovationXchange works within the following 'ecosystems':
- Life & Health Sciences
- Food & Agriculture
- Advanced Manufacturing & Materials
- Energy & Resources
- Transport & Logistics
- Social Innovation
Clients include start-ups and SME's, large national and multinational organisations, universities and research organisations from across these sectors.
The InnovationXchange originated as the Australian Industry InnovationXchange Network in 2003 whose aim was to provide an open network for improved communication across industry, government, universities and the community. Initially this was done through an online 'knowledge sharing' web portal and other networking activities.
This model was established with the funding support of the Australian Industry Group/Sir William Tyree Foundation, the Australian Government, and the state governments of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
In 2004 the InnovationXchange undertook a pilot with John Wolpert  to market test his concept of using 'trusted intermediaries' to facilitate the secure, managed exchange of sensitive information between entities.
The pilot demonstrated that often organisations do not understand who or why external parties might value the capabilities they possess, while others are not able to anticipate or articulate the nature or sources of knowledge or technology which might advance their strategic ambitions. The role of the 'trusted intermediary' was to match the capabilities and gaps of clients to provide safe and fast business and research collaborations. This pilot was supported by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.
This pilot was a success and the InnovationXchange client base has grown steadily since.
In 2006, the University of Birmingham licensed the InnovationXchange model in the UK. There are now 20 IXC Intermediaries worldwide, 10 throughout Australia and 10 throughout the UK, serving over 90 clients from Italy, Germany, the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
The international expansion of the InnovationXchange continues to add depth and scope to the network, allowing the creation of new and exciting business strategic and research collaborations.