NIST wants to update iEdison tech-transfer portal to get it out of the ’90s

The modernization is a "strategic priority" of NIST's involvement with the White House's lab-to-market goal for federal agencies.
idea, concept, edison bulbs
(Getty Images)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking public feedback on its plan to revamp the Interagency Edison (iEdison) System, an online portal where companies that receive federal government funding report their inventions.

The project is part of NIST’s increased focus on federal technology transfer as part of the Lab-to-Market Cross-Agency Priority Goal under the President’s Management Agenda. Every year the federal government invests more than $100 billion in research and development, and in return grantees report the inventions that come out of this funding to the government through iEdison. The portal is run by the National Institutes of Health and used by 35 agencies, but will transition to NIST control during update process.

The current iEdison system was also developed in 1995 and, frankly, the website doesn’t look much newer than that.

The current iEdison. (Screenshot)


Through a redesign, NIST wants to improve the system’s functionality, security and user experience.

“A modern iEdison system is critically important to efficiency in research administration and reporting of inventions that ultimately create value for society and the economy,” Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology Walter G. Copan said in a statement.

As part of its request for information, NIST is asking for feedback on what the redesign should look like and what challenges current users have with the system. The agency has three specific questions:

  1. What, if any, current features of iEdison does your organization believe should be retained in any updated version?
  2. What challenges, if any, is your organization experiencing in reporting inventions in the iEdison system? Where practicable, please provide specific descriptions and/or screenshots of user interface screens or error messages.
  3. What improvements could be made to the iEdison system that would reduce your organization’s reporting burdens, improve its experience, and facilitate your organization’s ability to comply with reporting requirements?

Responses are due Jan. 27. NIST intends to launch the new iEdison in early 2022.

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