iExchange: getting started

Are you looking for partners to take a great to idea to market? Have you developed a new technology that needs a company to commercialise it? Have you got a business problem which someone else’s fresh thinking could help solve? You can use the iExchange to start conversations which might address these problems. It’s a ready-made way of making connections to benefit your enterprise.

You might benefit from the thoughts, ideas and offers of people you may never otherwise meet by using the iExchange. It’s an opportunity for businesspeople, academics, researchers and other individuals to test appetite for their newest projects. That could be to find someone interested in working with you, or to see what other people in your sector think. You might want to license your intellectual property or just ask what others are doing to become more innovative.

Use the iExchange to:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Swap ideas and information
  • Look for possible partners for joint projects
  • Find inspiration in what others in your area are doing

Getting Started

Registered users of the Innovation Portal can add comments or opportunities, which will cause other users with similar interests to be made aware of the posts. Other users may then respond, share information or offer to exchange documents using Google Docs. If two parties agree, we will help them make a conversation started in the forum more private by putting them in touch directly.

Create a new idea

The iExchange allows you to publish an idea or opportunity by clicking ‘Create a new idea’. To post an entry follow the simple step by step process which will collate all the information prospective partners and collaborators will need to know about your idea or opportunity under the following tabs:

  • Summary: on this page you can give your idea a title, a description, describe what kind of opportunity it is and select which emda and East Midlands Innovation initiatives areas it is relevant to if you know.
  • Research Areas: This section allows you to tag your entry to specific research areas from the same options as when you register on the Portal.
  • Industries: In this field, you can state which industries your idea or opportunity applies to by tagging it to relevant areas in the existing classification system.
  • Documents: In this section, you can upload any relevant documents about your idea or opportunity to the site.
  • Add Custom Tag: This field allows you to create your own tags if you wish to describe your entry in a more free-form way.

Click here to view an example

Commenting and rating

Users are able to post comments about and rate other users’ entries. This will encourage discussion and debate, and could lead to collaborative work. The five star rating system allows you to rate the strength of an opportunity or idea, and the most highly rated entries appear in the ‘Top rated ideas’ section on the iExchange homepage.

Setting up alerts

Users can ask for alerts based on the areas of interest they chose at registration. Similarly, the tags you select when uploading an idea or opportunity will be used to trigger alerts to other registered users who have expressed an interest in specific research areas or industries, such as health related ideas or opportunities.

Setting up email notifications

Users can set up email notifications for every time someone comments on an entry they have posted, or one that they are interested in.

Moving forward

Once someone has showed an interest in your idea or opportunity, and a conversation has developed, it is possible to take that conversation offline and make it private, allowing you to talk and collaborate further without the worry of the discussion being seen or used by someone else.

Exporting ideas to Google Docs

Users can export their idea or opportunity to a Google doc online collaborative workspace, allowing them to create and edit documents online while working in real-time with other users. This service will help partnerships and the exchange of ideas to happen quickly and will allow users to react and contribute in real-time to entries posted on the site.

iExchange forum

The iExchange forum allows users to view all the comments that other users have made about ideas and opportunities.


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