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The UK government is set to invest £7 million in strategic research and development projects and ground-breaking trials that will improve co-operation between infrastructure providers, content producers, users and software developers.
The investment follows a competition for funding managed by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, which sought to encourage new collaborations between people and organisations from areas of the online world that are looking for better ways to cooperate in delivering digital services. The collaborators in each project will address two or more of three major challenges - developing an internet trusted by users, evolving hardware and software infrastructure, and proving new business models for digital content and services.
Nick Appleyard, the Technology Strategy Board's Head of Digital, said:
"Co-operation between infrastructure providers, content producers, users and software developers is vital if we are to extract true economic value from the Internet. Such innovative, collaborative thinking will help to create a world-leading platform for UK business in the future and will allow the UK's digital economy to grow and thrive."
The ten projects will be led by 3C Research Ltd, AIMES Grid Services CIC Ltd, Avanti Communications Ltd, Cybula Ltd, Hewlett Packard Ltd, the Met Office, Mirriad Ltd, Steepest Ascent Ltd, Totally Radio and we7 Ltd. The total value of all the projects, including contributions by the industrial partners involved, is £13.75 million.
The Collaboration Across Digital Industries (CADI) funding competition will see a total of £18 million invested by the Technology Strategy Board over 12 months. A competition for a second round of funding will open in March 2011. CADI is part of the Technology Strategy Board's digital investment programme, which also involves the creation of the UK Digital Testbed. The testbed – IC tomorrow, which came online in 2010 – allows businesses to test new digital services and run trials with consumers in a dedicated area of the internet.