Advanced Knowledge Technologies - Press Release
© 2000 Advanced Knowledge Technologies Consortium, 5-May-2000

Researchers unite to develop Advanced Knowledge Technologies

Some of the UK's leading scientists will be joining forces with major industrial companies in a multi-million pound project to develop computer methods and software for the management and manipulation of knowledge in the information age. This is a key enabler for new uses of the Internet and world-wide web and to allow new forms of cooperation in business, scientific and social environments.

Six world leading University research groups have joined to form the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT). They are to be awarded funding of approximately £7 million over 6 years starting in Autumn 2000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The project includes the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Southampton and the Open University. The principal investigators are: Professor Wendy Hall and Professor Nigel Shadbolt (University of Southampton), Professor Marc Eisenstadt and Dr Enrico Motta (Open University), Dr David Robertson and Professor Austin Tate (University of Edinburgh), Professor Derek Sleeman (University of Aberdeen), and Professor Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield). Professor Shadbolt will be the Director of the IRC. Some 20 industrial and governmental organisations who are advanced users or vendors of knowledge systems are to be involved in the programme. The consortium worked closely with its industrial collaborators while drafting its proposal to ensure that the research undertaken would be relevant.

The researchers in the AKT consortium include specialists in computer science, artificial intelligence, psychology, linguistics, multimedia and Internet technology. The team will undertake fundamental research to investigate the knowledge 'life-cycle', and develop cutting-edge technology to support it. The research will focus on six core challenges:

An important aspect of the project is the use of three test bed applications in education, research management, engineering and manufacturing provided by the industrial collaborators.
Further information on AKT Consortium:
Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Electronics and Computer Science,
University of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8059 7682 E-mail:

Further information on Edinburgh Contribution:

Dr. Dave Robertson, Institute for Representation and Reasoning,
Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
Tel: 0131 650 2709 E-mail:

Professor Austin Tate, Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute,
Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
Tel: 0131 650 2732 E-mail:

See also or for further information and an overview of the AKT research.