Universities play an important role in advancing the technology ecosystem, semantic technology included. Look for starters at work done at The Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Wright State University’s Kno.e.sis Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing, MIT, and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute located at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
In addition to driving technology ever forward, institutions like these and others also provide a home for incubating good ideas that could become good businesses. Music discovery service Seevl and the enterprise-focused SindiceTech are two examples of semantic spin-outs from DERI, for instance, while MIT Media Lab gave birth to commercial properties with semantic underpinnings including music intelligence platform The Echo Nest. The Kno.e.sis Center points work it’s doing in the commercial direction, too: Its LinkedIn profile description notes that its “work is predominantly multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional, often involving industry collaborations and significant systems developing, with an eye towards real-world impact, technology licensing, and commercialization.”
Given the projects with commercial prospects underway within their own houses, it would seem there’s opportunity for universities themselves to look for even more ways to contribute to that success. And that’s just what the University of Minnesota is doing: This week it said that it’s launching a $20 million seed fund over a ten-year timeframe to support the innovative ideas to which its campus plays host.