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An Initiative to Assist in Research at UMass Medical School with Eureka!

Posted On: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Posted By: Brian Zimmel

The Division by Zero team within IT Engineering has been working with the Office of Innovation and Business Development to build a new tool for researchers of UMass Medical School to help crystalize the novelty of their intellectual property. This web portal facilitates collaboration between researchers and the business development and technology transfer teams to search for patents, published journals, and small business grants in relation to the research being performed. The goal is for our researchers to have a “Eureka!” moment when they discover the key novel elements of their own invention, hence the product name of Eureka!

The web portal has been built to utilize IT’s cloud infrastructure with AWS. Instead of allocating servers in a data center to host a website, serverless computing has been used in AWS to allow for scaling resources based on demand and to provide redundancy of resources to allow for high availability of the product, so our researchers will always be able to access the portal. Eureka! contains search indexes with patent and grant data that the team has collected. These indexes, along with online APIs, provide a curated search for our researches to be able to zone in on the novelty of their invention. All these resources have been created through scripts to provide an “infrastructure-as-code” provisioning of the technology stack. If the portal needs to be scaled up due to high demand, the team can simply update the configuration in a script, click a button, and the change is made!

The Eureka! product has been another example of what can be accomplished with a multi-team project at UMass Medical School. The IT department has been able to provide an innovative solution to assist our colleagues in their important work being performed here and open the door for collaboration between different teams at the university.