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January 1999



New Internet Technology Center Seeks to Nurture Growing Industry


A new research center to assist companies with the development and deployment of Internet products and services has been established by Virginia's Center for Innovation Technology (CIT).

The Internet Technology Innovation Center (ITIC) brings together 11 research groups from four universities: The University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and Christopher Newport University.

Three Department faculty members are involved: Scott Midkiff of the Center for Wireless Telecommunications (CWT), Ira Jacobs of the Fiber and Electro-Optic Research Center (FEORC), and Bill Tranter of the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG).

The Center's goals are to nurture Virginia's newest emerging industry and growing base of Internet-related businesses; accelerate creation and deployment of network-based information technology-especially with regard to electronic commerce; develop Virginia's hardware/software infrastructure; and expand the State's high-skill workforce needed to develop, support and market Internet-based electronic products and services.

To accomplish these tasks, ITIC is establishing a Rapid Response Team that can analyze a company's situation, recommend strategies, develop rapid prototypes, and help a company utilize electronic products and services.

"ITIC provides broad expertise in a range of technologies related to the Internet, including wireless communications, networking technology, digital libraries, World-Wide Web technologies, electronic commerce, and Internet-based education and training," said Midkiff, one of Tech's two representatives to the ITIC Board." In addition," he said, "the Center provides expertise in a variety of services, including applied research, infrastructure development, technology training, and economic development. No single university could provide both the range of technologies and the range of services offered by ITIC."

"The establishment of ITIC is very timely," he continued. "This season's shopping news is that e-commerce is for real. In addition, nearly half of all Internet traffic goes through Virginia, thanks to AOL, MCIWorldCom, Sprint, and Cable and Wireless. As the Internet grows, Virginia is well positioned to be a big player: the backbone, service, and access are here. However, we're behind in applications such as electronic commerce and networking components."

ITIC is considered the state's first virtual research center. "As befits a technology-based faculty group, we are a virtual organization with a primary existence in cyberspace," said Alfred C. Weaver, Center Director and professor of computer science at UVa. "We will conduct our own business via email, multimedia, desktop video conferencing, and collaborative work tools."

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, May 9, 1999
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