A spin-off company from the University of Ulster has won one of Europe's most coveted and lucrative software awards.
Belfast-based MINEit Software beat 20 finalists to become the second ever United Kingdom grand prizewinner in the European Information Society Technologies awards. The company won one of the three €200,000 (£123,000) top prizes. Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics and Switzerland's XiTact took the other prizes.
MINEit was established two years ago and employs 15 people. It was Northern Ireland's first internet software development company and business analysts view it as one of the few start-ups with a sound business model and convertible intellectual capital.
MINEit's winning software, Easyminer, allows e-commerce websites to be tailored to their users' behaviour. The software automatically "mines" commercially vital marketing knowledge relating to visitor and customer site navigation behaviours, buying tendencies and preferences.
Easyminer uses technology designed to transform e-business data rapidly into an easily understood format. It allows businesses to measure the effect of online advertising and effectiveness of referring links. The software uses a sitemap application enabling businesses to find the hot spots and low-traffic areas of their websites. Easyminer has gathered a broad range of data mining technologies to analyse "click streams", visitor behaviour and site visualisation. The results can be published to the web or office applications.
The awards are run by the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering and supported by the Information Society Technologies Programme of the European Commission.