Insights

Five Things You Didn’t Know About IV Lab

September 12, 2011

IV Lab is responsible for taking some of our biggest ideas from the drawing board to reality. From malaria to metamaterials, it’s a fascinating part of our business that always offers something new to learn. We’ve pulled together a few lesser known facts about the lab, but you can also check out the IV Lab blog at www.intellectualventureslab.com for more about the lab team's work.

  • The primary function of IV Lab is to research, refine and extend IV inventions - The lab supports IV by taking inventions and carrying them to a point where we can monetize them or use them for humanitarian purposes. Many of our most promising and potentially game-changing inventions need this additional research and refinement before they can be licensed, sold or spun out as a separate company. 
  • In addition to the 43,000 square feet of laboratory and desk space IV Lab occupies, it also has a 23,000 square foot warehouse full of equipment- The lab needs to have the tools on hand to research inventions across countless different fields. We watch auctions for equipment we might need in the future and pay 1-2 cents on the dollar for it just to have it available. The discounted price means we can afford to have equipment sit idle and the large collection allows us to be more efficient and nimble with our research.
  • We raise our own mosquitoes - IV is exploring a variety of methods to detect and prevent malaria, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. To better understand our foe, we built a temperature-controlled insectary that raises Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes native to Southeast Asia. None of our mosquitoes carry malaria, but we use them to explore new techniques to control mosquito populations and prevent the spread of malaria. 
  • In addition to scientific equipment, the lab also includes a state-of-the-art machine shop - Once we understand the science and technology behind an invention, we often need to build a prototype or special equipment to take our research further. Rather than deal with outside vendors, we've assembled a machine shop and staff that can build almost anything we need – from specially-designed mosquito cages to super-insulated vaccine storage devices. 
  • The lab is growing and hiring - Since opening in 2009, the lab has expanded to nearly 100 employees across three buildings. People often assume we only employ traditional scientists with formal training, but our staff also includes hackers, disease modelers, software developers, project managers, machinists and a wide range of other individuals willing to push the bounds of science and creativity. Visit the careers section at www.intellectualventures.com to learn about opportunities to join the IV Lab team.

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