Web Pioneer Berners-Lee Disappointed by Web Institute Scrapping

Web pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee and academic Professor Nigel Shadbolt have expressed their disappointment that the proposed Institute of Web Science will never see the light of day.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed its decision to scrap the project yesterday, saying that although the government was still committed to investing in internet technology research, in the current economic climate they "cannot support" the creation of the institute.

A spokesperson for BIS said: "The research councils are investing £117m in a Digital Economy Programme to help drive research in this area and more than £30m is being invested specific projects relating to the semantic web."

In a joint statement the creators of the Institute, Berners-Lee and Shadbolt, told the BBC that they were very disappointed with the decision, but recognised the government's need to reduce UK's deficit. Both were optimistic about the potential for web science in the future.

The decision of the new government to remove funding from the Institute of Web Science is part of a wider plan to cut £6.2 billion from the UK's vast budget deficit.