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This report explores how Britain can maintain its competitive advantage in the challenging new area of Information Technology (IT). The launching of Japan's Fifth Generation Computer Programme in late 1981 could well mark a new epoch in IT. The Programme aims to apply IT in areas where existing systems have proved inadequate and to produce substantial increases in efficiency and productivity in information-dependent industries. The Programme will develop IT for knowledge processing as opposed to the current fields of data processing and computation.
The report recommends a five-year programme to mobilise the UK's technical strengths in IT, through a Government-backed collaborative effort between industry, the academic sector and other research organisations. The goal is a strong UK capability in the core enabling technologies, essential to Britain's future competitiveness in the world IT market.