Team plans to take IT to market

November 24, 2000

The government is teaming up with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to stop academic research in information technology gathering dust on a "virtual shelf".

Research carried out by the National Computing Centre last year found that more than 1,000 leading-edge software development projects are carried out annually by UK universities, each producing an average five potential business applications. But just one in ten makes its way to the market.

The Software Technology Outreach Programme (ST Outreach) aims to bridge the gap between universities and businesses.

The £500,000 government project will organise dissemination seminars across the country over the next six months. The plan is that this will offer a forum for universities to share their discoveries with business.

Daniel Dresner, head of research programmes at the National Computing Centre, said that a lot of innovative university work in IT, which could be valuable to business, is ignored.

Mr Dresner proposed a national database of research that business and academia could use to keep track of developments.

Ray Browne of the Department of Trade and Industry's communications and information industries directorate said: "The knowledge gap arises because universities and industry have different cultures and objectives. ST Outreach is bridging that gap."

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