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March 22, 2010

Berners-Lee to head web research body

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by Darren Allan

The Prime Minister, alongside his promises about next-gen broadband, has also announced a scheme whereby £30 million will be allocated to create an “institute of web science.”

A what now? Well, we all know by now that at this current time, when alarm sirens are wailing about our vast national deficit, that we must be spending our way out of debt. Sorry, investing our way out of debt.

Anyhow, Tim Berners-Lee, the famous figure credited with inventing the web, is to head up the institute (alongside Professor Nigel Shadbolt), and it will research things. Web things.

Gordon Brown said: “This will help place the UK at the cutting edge of research on the semantic web and other emerging web and Internet technologies, and ensure that government is taking the right funding decisions to position the UK as a world leader.”

Wise sounding words, although we suspect our hallowed Prime Minister really thinks the semantic web refers to the time Spiderman tried to solve the conundrum on Countdown.

Specifically, the institute is supposed to ensure that the UK is best placed to benefit from the social and economic advantages of the web.

The organisation will apparently collaborate with businesses and commercialise research, and will be jointly based at the universities of Oxford and Southampton.

Next stop – the institute of complete spherical objects? Only time will tell.

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1 Comment »
  1. Hmm, I don’t think the two founders of Google needed an expensive institute to get them started. They were in an enterprising environment that enabled them to be successful. Governments can’t provide that.

    Comment by m wood — March 22, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

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