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iEdison rebuild project seeks volunteers to tour and test modernized system

As progress on rebuilding the Interagency Edison (iEdison) reporting system for extramural interventions continues, its organizers are looking for volunteers to participate in user test groups for the new system in preparation for a 2022 launch.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Interagency Working Group for Bayh-Dole, has been working diligently on modernizing iEdison for more than a year. The system, which was established by NIH in 1996, provides an automated format for reporting inventions under federal grants and contracts under the Bayh-Dole Act.

The first phase of the rebuild involved identifying challenges and recommended improvements to the iEdison system via a Request for Information published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2019 and opened for comment through January 27, 2020. More than 50 responses were received from universities, nonprofits, for-profits, federal agencies, and individuals. Many of these changes have been implemented or plan to be implemented into the new system.

On June 22, 2020, an iEdison Feedback Session was held during which NIST presented a preview of the redesigned iEdison website and discussed RFI responses from stakeholders detailing challenges and recommended improvements to the iEdison system.

The next phase of the rebuild will involve volunteers, starting with small group virtual tours where members of the test group will be able to provide real-time feedback to help put together the best system possible. Each virtual tour will last about an hour. Organizers are also hoping to set up test accounts for volunteers later this year so that prospective users can have a more interactive experience with the system and provide feedback.

"Anyone who works within or around iEdison is welcome to participate. The only particular criteria or requirement is that they should be generally familiar with iEdison and/or Bayh-Dole," said Bethany H. Loftin, Interagency Policy & iEdison Specialist at NIST. "These user groups are not meant to be training on iEdison reporting or Bayh-Dole. Rather, we want to get feedback from iEdison users (and others directly involved with the associated inventions/patents/etc.) to make sure the system is as user friendly as possible."

There is no expected time commitment for volunteers, Loftin said.

"The time commitment will really be up to the volunteers," she said. "We will provide opportunities for feedback, but volunteers can pick and choose what they decide to participate in."

If you are interested in participating as a test user, please email iedison@nist.gov.

Read more about the iEdison rebuild: https://www.nist.gov/tpo/bayh-dole/iedison-rebuild

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