University and industry team up for high-tech future
Press release issued: 9 July 2003
Dramatic advances in multimedia services delivered through new, user-friendly devices are set to emerge from a multimillion-pound venture bringing together the University of Bristol and leading high-tech companies in the city-region.
3C Research, which will have its official launch on July 14, is a University-based company that has been awarded £7.6 million over three years by the Department of Trade and Industry. It will stimulate and support an adventurous research programme that will draw on and increase the Bristol area's strengths in television production, high-tech electronics and world-class science. The University is predicting immense benefits for the economy and the international competitiveness of Bristol and the South West.
Among the developments already under way at 3C Research are:
- rapid on-line searching and automatic categorisation of large video, audio and image databases for the entertainment industry;
- top quality broadband Internet access for everyone via hand-held devices that tap into a network of public hotspots;
- tools for the computer graphics and games industries that will transform the way they represent movement in their animations;
- methods of achieving far more realistic computer-generated images for the region's thriving film and virtual reality industries.
Toshiba, QinetiQ, Granada, STMicroelectronics and Matrix Data are among the industrial partners already working with the University's highly regarded Computer Science and Electrical and Electronic Engineering departments on projects of this kind.
Peter Horne, Chief Executive of 3C Research, said: "Imagine if, no matter where you were, you could almost instantly find a piece of film you wanted and watch it on a portable device that offered you images of unparalleled quality. That's the sort of development 3C Research is about. The impact on people's lives and on the economy could be very exciting."
Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, added: "The entertainment, telecommunications, computing and media industries are set for a boom. Bristol is already making a huge contribution in these fields, but 3C Research will accelerate progress and keep the University, the city and the region at the cutting edge."
Andrew Buchanan, Executive Producer in Granada's award-winning wildlife department, commented: " We're very excited by the possibilities that 3C Research opens up. We'll be working together to solve problems that affect people in all areas of media production, and building useful tools for anyone who wants to manage, use and distribute images."
Mike Woodhouse, Business Manager with QinetiQ, Europe's largest independent science and technology company, said: "QinetiQ is delighted to be a partner in the 3C Research initiative. We aim to develop and bring to market real solutions to real issues and enable significant progress in multimedia delivery and communications - to the benefit of producers and users."