The University of Southampton

ECS expertise in demand by leading technology companies

Published: 1 August 2007

ECS Partners Ltd, a pioneering consultancy company run by academics in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), has notched up business worth almost one million pounds over four years.

Thirty academics and other researchers are developing their cutting-edge research alongside leading companies and organisations in the UK and across the world through ECS Partners Ltd.

This unique model of consultancy aids researchers to get their work into the marketplace and provides world-class expertise for technology firms.

It was the brainchild of Professor Wendy Hall, Head of School over the last five years. ‘This is state-of-the-art research which is ready to be applied practically and needs to be tested with industry. Our academics are keen to take part because the consultancy work is related directly to the projects they are working on,’ she said.

Research and development consultancy currently under way through ECS Partners Ltd includes:

• Eprints – specialist repository software to enable educational institutions and companies to make information available to all through open access websites.

• Development work on the next generation of web technology – the ‘semantic web’.

• Nanotechnology, the science of the very small, in the electronics industry.

ECS Partners Ltd was set up to administer the consultancy. The company is not designed to generate significant revenue for the School and most profits are returned directly to the individual academics after the marginal costs of running the business have been taken out. What profit the company does make is put back into ECS for the benefit of staff and students.

The company was created with support and advice from the University’s Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI). Consultancy Manager Robin Axford from CEI said: ‘ECS is helping to change the way industry and academics work together in Southampton.'

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