by Andrew Penrose, Mihai Criveti, Clea Zolotow and Jim O’Keeffe
The morning of Friday June 28th brought together IBMers from across IBM in Ireland divisions – those mostly based at IBM Dublin Campus in Damastown, and teams also travelled from our Belfast Office to attend at our Summer of Patents Event.
IBM Dublin Campus
The attendees represented by inventors from Watson Health, Watson Weather and Content (The Weather Company), Security, Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Watson Services, Innovation Exchange, Cognitive Applications, Talent Management Solutions to name a few. Instead of availing of the flexibility afforded by remote working, especially on a Friday in June, this group of inventors came together to add their names to the list of those contributing to IBM’s success in patenting and innovation.
Ireland Technical Expertise Council ( ITEC) Initiative
The event was organised by ITEC members, the Irish affiliate to the IBM Academy of Technology. This is a community of selected IBM top technical leaders organized to advance the understanding of key technical areas & trends, enable attract & retain the technical community, and engage our clients in technical pursuits of mutual value.
Through ITEC, an initiative was created for this event lead by Mihai Criveti, Andrew Penrose and Clea Zolotow.
Andrew Penrose MC’d the event in the Hamilton Auditorium and began by running through of the process. The objective was to remain together for the first 30 minutes and then split into patent teams, each with a seasoned mentor, to work through ideation and the steps of patenting for first timers as well as those who have already gone through the process to an IDT board.
Our executive sponsor for this event, which all Academy initiatives have, is Sean Brady, Vice President of the IBM Cloud Customer Hub (Europe, Latin America, Canada). Sean spoke about the importance of protecting IBM intellectual property and “that events like this are important not only locally but globally, bringing inventors from all parts of the business together”.
Clea Zolotow introduced the audience to patents in general, ideation tactics and the importance of ‘prior art searching’ before you go down the line of really getting into a disclosure’s detail. “If you don’t know, a disclosure or invention disclosure is the information you compile together to determine whether patent protection should be sought for the described invention.” The conversation flowed from GPS enabled dresses to VR motion rigs to ensuring that inventions are relevant and are white boxes rather than black boxes.
Mihai Criveti re-introduced the work of the Ireland Technical Expertise Council, and detailed the work of the IBM Academy of Technology and it’s place within the IBM ecosystem of communities and influencers.
Team Formation, Patents, Prior Art and Novelty
At this point, we broke out into teams of four with a mentor in each group and moved into the IBM ThinkSpace, to get into the patent workshop proper. This involved the following format which worked out quite well:
- 30 minutes of ideation in order to brainstorm idea’s within each of the teams. There are many techniques for this, but more often than not, it’s the work that is done in each of the different areas and by different people that you will find the gold seam.
- 30 minutes on “Prior Art” and the importance of doing this up front.
- 30 minutes on “Patent Background, Novelty and Value Proposition” for IBM
- 30 minutes on “Invention Summary” and “Invention Detail”
We closed out the day event with a group photo below. Over the month of July inventors will meet in their teams and in August we will have a submission event where we will submit our inventions for scrutiny and if successful will move forward to work with patent lawyers.
Introducing The Inventing Teams
Our executive sponsor Sean Brady joined Mark Levins, STSM and Ireland IDT board member, Faisal Ghaffar and Kruno Plecko to ideate and talk go through the workshop. Mark coming from Talent Management Solutions, Faisal a Data Scientist & Applied Researcher from the Innovation Exchange and Kruno an Applied Research Engineer all in the IBM Cognitive Applications division.
Mark Wallace (mentor), Ruben Kos, Panpan Lin, Yuri Barssi and thought about IBM Assess, an application for pre-hire and employee assessment testing. The followed their scrum planning techniques with sharpies and post-its to brainstorm and explored ideas to solve some of the pain points associated with assessment testing while looking for some novel applications of the capabilities IBM has in this area.
Andrew Penrose worked with Nerijus Verseckas, Ivan Gualandi and Massimiliano (Max) Gallo, who all work day to day on the IBM Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture. We thought about ideas spanning crop yields and analytics, to satellite imagery, smart farming devices and climate change. Our division is part of The Weather Company and as such we have access to the largest amount of weather data on the planet. Along with this, we are involved with IBM Pairs, a platform, specifically designed for massive geospatial-temporal data (maps, satellite, weather, drone, IoT), query and analytics services.
Sonya Purcell ( not pictured ), Pragya Singh ( not pictured) , Maire Regan, Seamus Brady and Gerard Cregan got together and talked about support queries and their validity in certain cases.
John Delaney along with Christopher Chavez Lopez, Gabriella Bacelli and Sean Keogh delved in the area of productivity and tooling around translation, particularly automated.
Mark McGloin worked with Sinead McMahon, Eoin McCann and Krishnaveni Mayuri an investigated ideas in the area of agriculture. They also explored ideas to help patients in the medical sector and in for children in the insurance sector.
Liam Harpur and team comprising of William Chatham, Lin Zhao and Dario Chimisso used random work brainstorming to ideate to start with. Dario came up with a random work “Surfboard” … that lead to 15 characteristics of surfboards…. “sleek for speed”, “leach for safety” . From the derived characteristics they came up with 15 patent ideas ! They had plenty of fun converting the ideas .. mental gymnastics. They they selected on derived idea to start working on. Ideas are everywhere.
Clea’s Team or as Clea likes to call it the A-Team, was comprised of Peter Poliwoda, Cathal Dineen, John Leonard and Ju Park. Comprised mostly of Watson division employees, and Clea being from Global Technical Services.
– Clea Zolotow, Distinguished Engineer & Master Inventor working in Technology Innovation and Automation
“The team is amazing with their depth and breadth of knowledge. The ideas generated are not only good for IBM but also will make fantastic apps as well!”
DJ’s team Paul Dermody, Brian Daly and Shane McCarthy also opened dug deep during ideation and came up with ideas in the areas of AI in healthcare, Wellness, Genomic Data Analysis and Leverage, Climate Crisis/Green Tech, AI in Human Communications and Workflows.
Martin Stephenson and his team of Sigmund Vestergaard, Paul Brennan and Marta Mazur also had a wide-ranging discussion that included Martin’s area of expertise in Natural Language Processing but also in the area of Smart Agriculture and areas where Machine Learning algorithms can apply value.
Stanley Dunne, the chair of the Ireland IDT Patent Board, worked with Brendan McGreen, Axel Louchie and Angelo Moore ( not pictured). Currently, all involved in the area of IBM Global Business Services they talked about quality analytics and ideas around it, an area with large data sets.
“Patenting is encouraged for everybody in IBM. You don’t have to be a technical guru. If you are solving problems, you are creating solutions that might well have value, are novel and are worth patent protection”– Stanley Dunne, STSM Architect GBS Process Method & Tools
Global Business Services. Chair, Ireland IDT Board.
Olgierd Pieczul’s team travelled from IBM Belfast on Friday morning to the event in Dublin. Ryan Goldblatt, Michael MacLynn and Stephen Kelly work in the IBM Security division. Good teaming, as Olgierd works as a Security Architect, they focussed on network security management.
Last but not least, Bill Looby worked with Ziheng Cheng, Gilles Devillary and Mutaz Alsallal. Mutaz like the members of Olgierds team also travelled from the IBM Belfast office. Like the other teams, they had a wealth of ideas that crossed over many different areas. They focused in on crowdsourced data and the area of transportation.