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UK Prime Minister Announces £30 Million Institute Of Web Science

Gordon Brown has surprised quite a few by announcing that the government will invest £30 million towards the creation of a new entity called the "Institute of web science" which will be based in Britain.

Interestingly, Tim Berners-Lee, the man who has been named to head the institute and incidentally the one credited with creating the World Wide Web, has published a book called "A Framework For Web Science" back in 2006 with Wendy Hall and James A. Hendler as co-authors.

The book's description (opens in new tab) says that it "sets out a series of approaches to the analysis and synthesis of the World Wide Web, and other web-like information structures".

The aim of the Institute Of Web Science (IOWS) will be more practical though as it aims at working with the government and British businesses to "realise the social and economic benefits of advances in the web".

The British prime minister also added that "This will help place the UK at the cutting edge of research on the semantic web and other emerging web and internet technologies, and ensure that government is taking the right funding decisions to position the UK as a world leader."

Some like Andrew Orlowski of the Register (opens in new tab) criticised the announcement saying that "As an alliance of the desperate, this one takes some beating".

We're not sure whether the IOWS will be launched prior to the elections and we'd bet that if the Conservatives are elected, they might even scrap it altogether.

Our Comments

Honestly, we don't think that this is a good idea especially as Brown announced that this could potentially create more than 250,000 new jobs. Really? It might have been more fruitful to create a fund for startups that are actually working in the field of Semantic Web.

Related Links

Inventor of the Web Gets Backing to Build Web of Data (opens in new tab)


PM donates Tim Berners-Lee's body to web science (opens in new tab)


Greatest Living Briton gets £30m for 'web science' (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee to head UK 'Institute of Web Science' (opens in new tab)


Oxford and Southampton web research institute announced (opens in new tab)


Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.