UCI professor’s search-software company establishes higher ed discount program

Campus’s Office of Technology Alliances incorporates SRCH2 product into mobile app

Irvine, Calif., June 25, 2013SRCH2 Inc., a search-software company founded by UC Irvine computer science professor Chen Li, has launched a “Pay It Forward” program under which its products and services are free or deeply discounted for nonprofit and higher education institutions.

The UC Irvine Office of Technology Alliances has taken advantage of this program to add type-forward search capabilities with fuzzy error correction to its mobile app. This lets businesses and potential investors easily access – with only approximate queries – nonconfidential descriptions of UCI technologies available for licensing.

“We have implemented SRCH2’s new software in our Apple and Android app, UCIOTA, and are finding that it makes the search function more refined and simpler to utilize,” said Earle Hager, business development manager in the campus’s Office of Technology Alliances.

Commitment to nonprofit and charity missions is deeply rooted at SRCH2. Its proprietary software grew out of a humanitarian effort after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, which killed more than 220,000 people.

An immediate challenge was enabling people in the U.S. and elsewhere to quickly learn the status of friends and loved ones in the stricken Caribbean nation. Communication was spotty and difficult, and information was hard to find. Google created a website that centralized all available data and kept it updated. But many of these records had incomplete or misspelled names.

In the hours that followed, Li and his team created a powerful search widget – based on what is now SRCH2 software – for this ever-changing database and provided it to newspapers and other sites for public use.

“In the face of such devastation, it’s hard to see how one can help,” Li said. “We were encouraged by The Miami Herald’s use of our family reunification tools and the many people working on the People Finder project who gave us positive feedback. We played a small role at a crucial time, when access to incomplete information was so vital. It was a pertinent reminder that we have to be ready to act and to give back to the community when we can.”

SRCH2’s “Pay It Forward” program covers up to 70 percent of the license cost for its enterprise search software. Integration and implementation services are also available, at cost. Entry into the program is managed by SRCH2 and its affiliates.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu.

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