News release

Date: 7th November 2012

Innovative online portal provides free access to university-generated software

SETsquared’s OpenDOOR to put academics’ code into public domain

Bristol, UK - November 7th, 2012 The SETsquared Partnership has launched OpenDOOR, an online portal that provides free of charge access to software developed at the five SETsquared partner universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.

Available at, OpenDOOR puts software created by university staff into the public domain so that other researchers and commercial companies can benefit from it.

The software released was developed as part of successful research projects, many of which are active. Much of the software may not be of general interest but has a niche value, providing valuable tools for companies and organisations who have particular needs and interests. OpenDOOR software is free of charge, but is provided without warranties or the commitment of support.

Software available already on the portal includes MobileSign, an new app that can help people to communicate through sign language, created by the University of Bristol. The tool includes a searchable database of over 4,000 signs, and is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Another application on OpenDOOR is ImageTerrier, a high performance search engine platform for content-based image retrieval developed at the University of Southampton.

In some cases, putting software into the public domain in this way is a condition of research grants. OpenDOOR provides a convenient, easy to use method for academics to meet this obligation.

“We believe OpenDOOR is the first software-specific portal of this type in the UK, and it offers an innovative way to enable universities to help boost the UK economy,” said Graham Harrison, Partnership Director at SETsquared. “This shows what the five SETsquared universities working together can achieve that might not be possible if they operated separately.”


About the SETsquared Partnership:
Twitter: @SETsquared

The SETsquared Partnership
( is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 8,500 academic staff; earn £450m of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

SETsquared supports its student population of over 92,000 graduate and undergraduates to gain hands on business skills and entrepreneurial training through experiential inter-university activities. The Partnership also provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and develops collaborative R&D relationships. The Partnership seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.

Further information:
Nick Daines, Lumen PR
Tel: +44 (0)115 8412109 / +44 (0)7958 53473

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