• Institute for Web Science Partnership Announced

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Institute for Web Science Partnership Announced

May 28 2010

The establishment of a joint Institute for Web Science announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on March 22nd, is set to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of developments in the World Wide Web, and understands, anticipates and fully exploits the economic potential that emerges from the evolution of the Web.

Co-hosted by the Universities of Southampton and Oxford, and created through a £30 million grant provided through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Institute will build on the foundations of existing, complementary strengths at the two universities, and the significant investment made by both universities in Web Science and its societal and governmental implications. It will exploit the track record of both host institutions of engaging with business to commercialise research, and of generating and nurturing ‘spin out’ start-up companies.

Professor Nigel Shadbolt of the University of Southampton, who will lead the Institute with Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, commented: “The Web is one of the most disruptive and transformative innovations we have ever witnessed. We must understand the forces that have shaped it,
anticipate its evolution and determine its future social and economic impact. But we must also research a next generation of the Web. The announcement today will allow us to do this in the UK and to ensure that we remain pioneers and world class in this critical area. The Institute for Web Science will also act as a bridge between research and business, helping commercialise these new technologies. It will also help Government stimulate demand through procurement.”

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “The next generation of Web technologies is going to shape the world in even more dramatic ways. The University of Oxford is at the forefront of research into the societal implications of the Internet. It is important and appropriate that Oxford should be involved in initiatives that seek to tap into the exciting future
possibilities and potential of the Web.”

The Institute for Web Science will act as a hub for collaboration between the hosting institutions and other universities in the UK and the related business communities. It will have a critical mass sufficient to form a world-leading capability in the next generation Web.

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