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 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 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

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PM donates Tim Berners-Lee's body to web science


Greatest Living Briton gets £30m for 'web science'

(The Register)

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee to head UK 'Institute of Web Science'


Oxford and Southampton web research institute announced