Informatics Informatics Department The Alvey Programme

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Some important events leading up to the Alvey Programme are listed.

1973: Lighthill
Sir James Lighthill's damning review of Artificial Intelligence led to a major cutback in AI research funding for the next 7 years
1976 DCS
Iann Barron appointed to lead SRC's Distributed Computing Systems Programme, SRC's first attempt to establish a coordinated programme of research in the Information Technology (IT) area.
1977 Roberts Panel
Special panel of SRC under the Chairmanship of Derek Roberts of GEC recommended a national programme of research and education/training in key areas of IT.
1980 Kenneth Baker
Presented a paper A National Strategy for Information Technology advocating a Minister for IT, joint research between academia, government and industry, better IT education.
1981 Minister for IT
Kenneth Baker appointed Minister for IT.
1981 Project Universe
Project Universe was the first large scale IT research project involving academia, industry and government
1981 Software Technology Initiative
SERC launch a Specially Promoted Programme (SPP) in Software Technology coordinated by Rob Witty of RAL.
1981 Japanese Fifth Generation Project Announced
Japan launches a major project in:
  • Inference computer technologies for knowledge processing
  • Computers for large-scale data bases and knowledge bases
  • High performance workstations
  • Distributed functional computer technologies
  • Super-computers for scientific calculation
The aim was to an attempt to leapfrog existing computer expertise and create an entirely new computer technology.
1982 Information Technology Year
IT82 was a £4M national IT awareness campaign.
1981/2 IKBS SPP Proposed
Over the period 1981-82, the Artificial Intelligence community proposed a major advance in AI funding through an SPP in Intelligent Knowledge Based Systems (IKBS)
1982 Cosener's House Meeting
Workshop held by SERC at RAL's Cosener's House in January to define a UK response to the Japanese programme; UK academics were being solicited to join the Japanese research programme. Proposed IT87, a five-year programme starting in 1982, with thrusts in VLSI design/fabrication and IKBS.
April 1982: Alvey Committee
Kenneth Baker invited John Alvey, BT, to chair a study group to advise on the scope for a collaborative research project in Information Technology.
September 1982
IKBS Research Area Review Meeting outlines the IKBS Programme.

Geoff Manning, Kenneth Baker and Brian Oakley (future Alvey Director) admiring the Atlas Computer Console, March 1982

Geoff Manning, Kenneth Baker and Brian Oakley (future Alvey Director) admiring the Atlas Computer Console, March 1982
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