The iBridge(SM) Network Announces New Industry-Sponsored Forums to Increase Research Collaboration and Innovation

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 10 The iBridge(SM) Network, a program of the not-for-profit Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., today announced that it has introduced forums to its website, The forums will allow users of the site to search, contribute to and discuss specific topic areas of interest. Each forum will be sponsored by companies or organizations who are leaders in that specific field. The first live forum on the iBridge Network is the BioBanking forum, sponsored by Asterand, a public company that specializes in providing biosamples and associated research to the pharmaceutical industry.

"We have reached a tipping point as far as the amount of innovations we have on the site and the caliber of member organizations that are contributing them," said Lesa Mitchell, director of the iBridge Network. "With our new forums, we hope to create discussion spaces for researchers and industry experts to deep dive into specific topics related to their areas of work and to provide a quick, efficient way for people to collaborate."

The BioBanking Forum, the first live forum on the network, is the perfect model of an area of innovation that will benefit from the type of collaboration the iBridge Network can provide. Biobanking is crucial to discovering cures to cancers and debilitating diseases, as well as lowering the costs and increasing the efficacy of drug discovery and medical device development. Despite the promise of this field, there are currently no standardized collection, storage and quality control procedures or a central repository for all of the ongoing work in the field.

Asterand is located at TechTown, Wayne State University's research and technology park. "We are developing a center of biobanking excellence at TechTown because we believe it is so important to the development of new drugs and medical devices," stated Randal Charlton, Executive Director of TechTown, where Asterand is located and is an anchor tenant. Other banks at TechTown include a large collection of the Perinatal Research Branch of the National Institutes of Health as well as the State of Michigan's Neonatal Biobank.

With 85 organizations supplying more than 8,000 innovations on the iBridge Network, it is fast becoming the destination of choice for university researchers, entrepreneurs and industry to share and discover best practices and research across a variety of topic areas. The iBridge Network Web site is designed to encourage open and efficient communities with unique profiles, advanced navigation, search capabilities and personalized services such as the iBNewsfeed, which notifies users of new developments tailored to their interests. The addition of the forums is the latest upgrade in order to continue encouraging collaboration. Presently, five of the top six and 15 of the top 25 research universities in the United States utilize the iBridge Network--all recognizing that collaboration can truly accelerate the rate of innovation and commercialization.

Universities and non-profits use the iBridge Web site to distribute and license a variety of items, including software, research tools, databases, teaching materials, surveys, reference materials and patent-protected technologies.

The iBridge Network is currently accepting applications for forum sponsorship. Please call 800-573-5136 to learn more.

About Asterand

Asterand plc is a leading supplier of high quality human tissue and tissue-based services. Our comprehensive approach to human tissue and research services offers pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies the unique opportunity to have one Company meet all of their human biomaterial needs along the continuum of drug discovery and development. Our mission is to accelerate target discovery and compound validation and enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to take safer and more effective drugs into the clinic.

About TechTown

TechTown is the business incubator and research technology park on the campus of Wayne State University, Detroit. Stakeholders include Henry Ford Health System, General Motors, the New Economy Initiative, the City of Detroit, Wayne County, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. TechTown is supporting over 90 companies, many of whom are involved in life sciences and have a strong interest in biobanking. Contact Randal Charlton at

About the iBridge(SM) Network

The iBridge(SM) Network is an innovation catalyst with a vibrant, online community enabling universities, companies and entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and license tomorrow's research, products and services. Many of the nation's leading research institutions utilize the iBridge(SM) Network regularly to promote, share and advance their innovations and identify appropriate partners. The iBridge(SM) Network is a program of the Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. To learn more, please visit, e-mail us at, or call 800-573-5136.

SOURCE iBridge Network

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