Government boost for innovation – News – UK government launches research initiative into new technologies

Government boost for innovation – News – UK government launches research initiative into new technologies – Brief Article

THE Government has launched a 40 [pounds sterling] million research initiative into new technologies, which it claims will pioneer devices such as remote home security services, intelligent fridges, and digital shopping assistants.

According to Douglas Alexander, the e-commerce minister, the virtual Interdisciplinary Research Centre (vIRC) is a coalition of cutting-edge companies, high-tech businesses and innovative universities, which will bring organisations together to conduct and share research.

Projects will examine how the very latest in innovation and technology can benefit consumers and test the mass-market appeal of new products. The virtual research centre will also examine security and privacy issues of such revolutionary technologies.

Mr Alexander said: “Only a few years ago, these kind of technologies and devices were only seen in the movies. The virtual Interdisciplinary Research Centre will help to make these innovations a reality.

“We already have the technology and expertise. What this centre will do is test the business potential of employing that technology, allowing the UK to maintain its strong lead in hi-tech industries.

“I am delighted to see so many organisations taking part in the centre. This programme will bring us closer to mass-market products and services with the potential to improve home security, cut energy consumption and improve quality of life.”

Members of the vIRC were selected following a bidding process and include household names such as Hotpoint, Dyson, Siemens and IBM. Universities including Cambridge, Warwick, Nottingham, Surrey and Kings College London will offer research and technical expertise.

Further information is available on the vIRC website at www.nwtm.org.

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