£18m for digital research and trials that will help transform the online economy

30 Mar 2010

An innovative new project is underway that promises to transform the digital economy by making it more profitable and help tackle the challenges preventing players in the online world from extracting full value from their businesses. The Government-backed Technology Strategy Board is investing £18m in collaborative research and development and trials, to help a productive UK digital economy grow and thrive.

The competition is designed to spark new collaborations between people and organisations from areas of the online world that don't traditionally work together and who have been unable to solve the challenges that currently impede the digital economy on their own.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

"The Internet touches all aspects of our lives, reaching across shopping, travel, banking, healthcare, education, communication and entertainment, and it is revolutionising the way we work. The implications are profound for all businesses.

"Most strongly affected are those working to create and distribute information, and to offer services to customers, who are finding that conventional commerce needs to be fundamentally rethought. This is an exciting time of opportunity and risk. It is a time ripe for innovation."

The aim is to link three grand challenges together: developing an internet trusted by users, evolving hardware and software infrastructure, and proving new business models for digital content and services. All applicants will be required to prove that they will work to devise shared solutions that span at least two of the three main challenge areas: people, content and services, and networks.

Successful applicants to this call will be able to test their technology with real consumers on the £10m Digital Testbed overseen by the Technology Strategy Board. This will enable users, content providers and service providers to conduct trials in a ring-fenced area of the internet, so that they can demonstrate their innovative business models and services. A further £2m funding competition, Digital Testbed: Network Services Demonstrators, will open on 10 May 2010.

Together, these initiatives are part of the Technology Strategy Board's £30m Digital Britain programme.

Nick Appleyard is the Technology Strategy Board's Head of Digital and is leading on the Digital Britain Programme. He said:

"These competitions are designed to improve co-operation between infrastructure providers, content producers, users and software developers. The solutions that will allow all who work with the Internet to extract true economic value do not lie in research and development within discrete technology areas, but in collaborations between sectors. We are looking for innovative and potentially surprising collaborative thinking that establishes how today's Internet's parts can be reworked, to create a world-leading platform for UK business in the future." Ends

For full press release including notes to editors, please follow this link

Companies and other organisations seeking further information about these and other funding competitions should visit the competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website - www.innovateuk.org - email competitions@tsb.gov.uk or phone the Competitions Helpline on 01355 272155.

Media contact:

Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager, Technology Strategy Board. Tel: 01793 442901; Mob: 07554 115745; Email: claire.cunningham@tsb.gov.uk

Additional contact: Nick Sheppard. Mob: 07824 599644; nick.sheppard@tsb.gov.uk


Last updated on Friday 30 July 2010 at 12:43

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