Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced the launch of a Web Sciences Institute, which will place the UK “at the cutting edge of research on the semantic web and other emerging web and internet technologies”.
However, there seems to be a disparity between Brown’s ambition and the £30 million funding the government is allocating to the new organisation.
The prime minster has, at least, attracted some top talent to lead the Institute, including Sir Tim Berners Lee, and Professor Nigel Shadbolt.
In a speech on “Building Britain’s Digital Future”, Brown declared, “I want Britain to be the world leader in the digital economy which will create over a quarter of a million skilled jobs by 2020; the world leader in public service delivery where we can give the greatest possible voice and choice to citizens, parents patients and consumers; and the world leader in the new politics where that voice for feedback and deliberative decisions can transform the way we make local and national policies and decisions.”
The PM promised to make “a radical set of proposals which include transfers and shifts in existing spending, including being prepared to cancel current projects, and which - together with more detailed plans set out by the Chancellor in the budget on Wednesday - will help us to save billions of pounds a year in public sector costs in the next few years.”
Brown highlighted the role of the semantic web, which he said, “will change fundamentally the way we conduct business - with new enterprises by-passing traditional media communications and governmental organisations: new enterprises spun off from the new data, information and knowledge that flows more freely.”
The government “will invite universities and private sector web developers and companies to join this collaborative project,” the PM said.