June 8, 2012 (update):
Beginning July 1, Cazoodle Inc., will host and manage an improved version of the university’s IRIS grant-search service. The new platform, GrantForward, will feature enhanced search and user-account interfaces as well as new tools to help institutions annotate and disseminate grant information. Try out the beta version at http://grantforward.com .
January 24, 2012:
Cazoodle, Inc. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have entered into a licensing agreement regarding the Illinois Researcher Information Service (IRIS) . Cazoodle will takeover the IRIS grant search service and utilize its experience in building vertical search engines to strengthen IRIS’s features by increasing the coverage of grant opportunities and by improving the way researchers seek new opportunities.
Since 1994, IRIS has been a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library . It offers Web-based funding and research services to the University of Illinois community free of charge and to other academic institutions for an annual subscription fee. IRIS features more than 10,000 research funding opportunities from U.S. federal agencies and private foundations. It includes in-depth and up-to-date indexing and abstracting of critical grant information; subject search access; limited submissions management; customizable alerts service; and an expertise profile service, private foundation sources, and research fellowships.
Cazoodle is beginning development on the IRIS search engine this month and an enhanced version of the grant search platform is scheduled to launch in May. In the meantime, an alpha-version is planned for February with a beta-version to follow in April. Both early releases will be open to existing IRIS customers as well as to interested parties.
In addition to transitioning the existing search technology, Cazoodle plans to provide several key new features, including a personalized search interface, inclusive grant management functionality, subscription options for individual researchers, and a “free-trial” mode for those interested in learning more about the IRIS grant search. IRIS users can expect a new name and logo for the search engine in the coming months.
“We wanted the latest technology for IRIS to mine grant opportunities directly from the open web. And we also wanted to continuously update these opportunities by synthesizing key information in order to help researchers save time in grant seeking,” said Beth Sandore, associate university librarian for information technology planning and policy and associate dean of libraries at Illinois. “IRIS users will be utilizing an improved grant search service very soon.”
About Cazoodle, Inc.
Cazoodle, Inc. emerged from a team of faculty and graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is led by founder and CEO Kevin Chang. The Cazoodle team started by building an apartment search tool which has seen 400% growth in its user base in the last year. Cazoodle has innovated in several other domains and hosts vertical search engines for vacation rentals and electronics shopping.