Nesta exploits and explores future of the web

July 9, 1999

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts plans to use convergent technologies to nurture the geniuses of the next generation.

Nesta's triple-headed assault - by exploration, exploitation and explanation - on the relative failure of government to support and profit from native talent, will not only harness the internet but also push the boundaries of its development.

Martin Freeth, deputy chief executive, said Nesta would exploit the potential of the web for communication, collaboration and cost-savings. He said that Nesta was determined to pare its operational costs to the minimum and so ensure that the annual income from the Pounds 200 million National Lottery endowment was used in the best way. Nesta would save substantial sums by the use of online application and information materials, rather than print.

But more than that, "the Nesta website will become a focus for new ideas. We hope that there will be a continually growing community of artists, inventors and fellows that uses the site to exchange ideas and provide the spark for new ones."

He hoped that the site would also help to push the limits of the types of communication possible over the net with increasing use of video, animation and sound.

The site, developed by Amaze, the Liverpool John Moore's University spin-off, is a model of information design.

Roy Stringer, chief hypermedia architect at Amaze, said: "The challenge with the Nesta site was to organise dense and complex information in a simple and transparent, user-friendly way. There is an enormous amount of detail there but we believe we have avoided overwhelming the people who will use it."

He was a key "Creative Minds" speaker at Tomorrow's World Live! at Earl's Court, celebrating Nesta's launch.

"We will be having a global conversation that tears down the learning hierarchies and allows the learners to question and rebuild learning models," he said.

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