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University of Southampton links with BAE Systems in major new research partnership

Published: 
7 May 2004

The University of Southampton has signed a multi-million pound research agreement with BAE Systems and one of its joint venture companies AMS Limited, marking the start of an important new strategic partnership.

The partnership, which is also supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), centres on a planned £3.5 million integrated research programme into information fusion and automated decision making in complex environments. The Distributed Data and Information Systems programme, which involves a network of leading academic groups across the globe, will be led by a team in the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science.

The partnership, which runs for a minimum of five years, will also evolve to deliver linked education and training courses, providing graduates with the skills needed for the future.

The agreement, signed by the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham; Dr Robert Johnston, Head of Systems at AMS; and Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, Advanced Technology Director at BAE Systems, is the fifth BAE Systems Strategic Partnership in the academic sector.

Professor Nick Jennings, head of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, is the strategic partnership's academic director. "This is an exciting initiative bringing together a number of leading academic and industrial research groups to do both fundamental and application-inspired research in this highly challenging area," he commented.

"It is a great opportunity to make a significant leap forward in developing large-scale, robust and agile data and information systems. Industry needs increasingly sophisticated information systems that meet the requirements of the people using them. Through this partnership we are bringing together the necessary research expertise to develop the systems of the future," added Professor Jennings.

Professor John Murphy, Head of University Partnerships in BAE Systems said: "This is a strategic area where we must sow seeds for our future capabilities. We recognize Southampton as having in-depth skills in this area and the breadth of knowledge to pull together a global academic network to address our needs."

Dr Robert Johnston, who will chair the Strategic Partnership on behalf of BAE Systems and AMS Limited, said: "We are looking to Southampton and their network to deliver world-class technologies and put research into distributed data and information into network enabled and human centric systems."

Notes for editors

  1. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
  2. AMS is a 50:50 joint venture business between BAE SYSTEMS, UK and Finmeccanica, Italy. It is a world leader in the provision of integrated defence and electronic systems, with an annual turnover in excess of £1.2bn and a customer base in over 100 countries. Its business covers naval, C4I and air traffic systems, underpinned by a service and product range containing combat management systems, land and naval radar, and simulation and training solutions.

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