IBM weaning universities from the proprietary model

Will taking money out of the equation speed, or slow, innovation in computing research? We report, you decide.

This generation's biggest economic trend may be our use of universities as engines of growth.

It's a trend in big cities and small. My hometown of Atlanta (right), which a decade ago was centered on the headquarters of major banks and corporations, is now centered firmly around the campus of Georgia Tech, and Georgia State researchers are revitalizing the old downtown to its south.

This, in turn, is caused by the schools' willingness to capitalize on the work being done by faculty and staff. Patents and discoveries are managed centrally, and many schools have become virtual intellectual property law firms.

The problem is that the sharing of knowledge which is at the heart of any research or education endeavor suffers. Jealousy and greed have made their way onto campus, and while some of it is good, some is also overdone.

IBM is trying to do something about it. AP reports it is working closely with seven universities (including Georgia Tech) on computing research projects whose results will all go open source. Intel, H-P and Cisco are also joining as corporate sponsors, and more schools are being recruited.

Now for the key question. Will taking money out of the equation speed, or slow, innovation in computing research? We report, you decide.

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