Putting Australian innovation on the map with publicly-funded patents at our fingertips

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Working with IP Australia and CSIRO to create the Source IP online platform. Source IP facilitates R&D commercialisation by making it easy for industry to discover patented innovations from research institutions.


IP Australia


Source IP


Federal GovernmentIntellectual Property


Launched in 2015

Technology Themes

Cloud-Native Development Lightbend reactive platform Open Source Technology Secure Cloud Third-Party API Integration Vault Cloud


The 2015 Global Innovation Index revealed low levels of collaboration between the research and private sectors in Australia. We ranked 25th in the world for our capacity to innovate and commercialise new ideas. This was in stark contrast to our potential funded capability, ranking 8th in the world for public spending on research according to the World Economic Forum competitiveness rankings.

IP Australia wanted to bridge the gap between research and innovative impact by facilitating easy access to relevant information and fostering collaboration. The Source IP digital marketplace was developed as a one-stop-shop for IP rights information publishing, sharing of licensing preferences and the facilitation of contact for further collaboration.


The Source IP platform is designed to recognise patents developed by publicly funded research in Australia, and make that information accessible to industry, as well as connect innovators to the researchers themselves.

There were three key outcomes required for a successful Source IP service that informed the delivery approach:

  • To make the availability of Australian licensable intellectual property (IP) as visible as possible to as many parties as possible
  • Ensure that searching across 100M+ patents is rapid and easy
  • Allow key Source IP information to be accessible to third-party developers through the provision of a secure interface.


The guiding principle for this project was to ensure that the integrity and quality of the data could not be compromised and that it met academic standards.

During the discovery and definition phase, personas were developed to help define and contextualise the problem impacting customers. This allowed IP Australia to prioritise the features that were most valuable to their customers first. Agile Digital service designers began to draw out the services architecture and strategy that would provide sufficient flexibility, with minimal software complexity.

Patent data from all over the world was harnessed with a volume of data in the realm of ‘big data’ proportions via highly distributed online sources, requiring diplomatic as well as technical problem solving.


Agile Digital successfully delivered this large-scale platform on schedule for launch by Australia’s then Assistant Minister for Innovation, the Honorable Wyatt Roy MP. Accessing over 80 million patent records from around the world, this platform is a leading example of how digitisation can harness innovation. The solution included a mobile-ready online service that was widely well received amongst users for its easy self-service capabilities and access to important information at the fingertips.

The platform is supported by Agile Digital and continues to offer a user experience to encourage university-to-industry linkage/collaboration and interconnects with digital services of peer organisations. Innovation clients include more than 40 universities, research facilities and other public entities.

IP Australia has since licensed the technology to Canada to power the Explore IP platform and transitioned the platform to Australia’s CSIRO for long-term management.

“Source IP from IP Australia serves as a free single portal for information sharing, licensing preferences and facilitating contact for intellectual property generated by the public research sector in Australia and directly supports the aim of putting innovation at the heart of our economic agenda.”

Hon. Wyatt Roy, Assistant Minister for Innovation, at the Source IP launch in 2015