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
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
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
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."