Ruth Mitchell

Innovative software launched to help knowledge sharing

A unique software system being developed in the North East could help academic institutions share information on a global scale.

Inkspot Science have developed the web based platform, which allows science and engineering companies to store and analyse data, run work flows and share work with selected individuals and groups.

The cloud computing technology will now help organisations develop faster research in a more efficient and effective manner. It is hoped that the data and information will then be translated into innovative products and solutions to promote economic growth.

Sunderland University are the first institution to sign up to the programme in the hope of driving more local economic growth through Newcastle Science City.

Inkspot are now based within the University’s new £8.5 million Science Complex, where they are well placed to support staff and students in various areas of research, including pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences and drug design and development.

Roz Anderson, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, said: “Linking up with Inkspot meets our needs in several ways; it will support the quality of teaching, our students’ work and promote our research ambitions, as well as engage further with stakeholders.

“We want to treat this as a scientific Facebook, where we share our results with groups and universities across the world, in a real-time data-sharing environment with our collaborators, allowing the results to progress quicker.”

The new cloud technology will enable the university to compile results from a whole class of undergraduates, thereby allowing them to do a whole range of statistics which would not be available using a single set of results.

It will also be of benefit to PhD students required to analyse large amounts of data.

The five founders of Inkspot bring with them a wide range of technical, scientific and business skills and have launched the product after spending 3 years developing the technology.

Professor David Leahy, Chairman of Inkspot Science, said: “The web-based system means researchers anywhere in the world can access the best tools for doing research and can collaborate with anyone else in the world, so it lowers the barriers to accessing good quality research.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Sunderland. This is our first significant breakthrough agreement with a major university; we’re now looking to build on this partnership.

Potentially the system offers the same kind of infrastructure larger companies and science industry would have access to.“

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