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UT System launches free online database to connect industry with thousands of world-class researchers

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System launched a cutting-edge web portal today that allows private sector and government agencies to quickly find thousands of renowned researchers and facilities at the System's campuses and health institutions.

Influuent is a free online searchable database of researchers and resources that enable potential collaborators to easily identify and connect with faculty experts across all departments to conduct all levels of research (basic, applied and clinical), develop new technologies and processes and overcome technical challenges. 

The UT System is the first university system of its size in the nation to launch a database with such capabilities. Influuent is the gateway to more than 15,000 UT System researchers who have produced nearly 110,000 publications in the last five years in science, medicine, engineering, energy, transportation and business.

“The University of Texas System has research expenditures of nearly $2.7 billion and a wealth of faculty experts for public- and private-sector organizations to tap into with Influuent,” said Patricia Hurn, vice chancellor for research and innovation.

Influuent’s search tool scans and analyzes every publication in Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed research literature that’s updated weekly. That data is used to produce a fingerprint of each researcher’s expertise.

The database is also designed to provide access to not only a faculty researcher, but their entire research ecosystem including their collaborators, specialized facilities and equipment and other faculty in the same academic department.

Influuent searches can be based on a keyword, concept, last name or published abstract. Once users have found the right experts, they can contact them directly. In addition to boosting the state’s economy, Influuent makes Texas more business-friendly. This powerful tool will also foster cross-institution collaborations among UT researchers from different campuses and institutions.

In a time of limited federal and state funding, universities must actively seek more partnerships with private industry, which is conducting less research and development (R&D) on its own.

“The combination of extraordinary faculty experts and unique research facilities make UT System faculty a clear choice for industrial partnerships to move ideas and innovations forward throughout the world,” said Stephanie Bond Huie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives.

Influuent was funded as part of the Innovation Framework approved by the UT System Board of Regents last year.

“When they made this investment, the Regents recognized that supporting the R&D efforts throughout the UT System’s institutions is vital to our continuing success,” Chancellor William H. McRaven said.

Influuent was developed in collaboration with Elsevier, a provider of information solutions for science, health and technology professionals.

Follow Influuent on twitter @influuent and on LinkedIn.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and an enrollment of more than 214,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.