EAberdeen-based technology development company AXEON has signed a second-stage agreement with the University of Aberdeen that will take its breakthrough technology approach to high-bandwidth communications to the manufacturing stage. AXEON has successfully implemented its technology in a software product targeting the needs of data-intensive corporate networks as well as in a new type of microprocessor which learns by example, aimed at the mobile communications market.
Under the original umbrella agreement signed in October 1998, the two organisations created a novel symbiotic relationship in which the Univeristy provides a pool of intellectual and product concepts in the fields of information technology and associated electronics while AXEON provides the product development, management, marketing skills and finance necessary to turn ideas into real products. The University receives a royalty for its work.
AXEON has since advanced the development of its two core products – a software tool for increasing the amount of data that can flow through corporate networks and a learning processor that will initially enable more reliable and higher quality communications in third-generation (3G) mobile phones. Both are based on research conducted at the University in conjunction with AXEON’s own R&D efforts.
Professor Alex Forrester, Vice Principal at the University of Aberdeen responsible for the commercialisation of the University’s research said: “The agreement with AXEON is an example of how a university can work successfully with industry to translate its intellectual research into products with real practical application.
“Our relationship with AXEON combines the University’s scientific creativity with AXEON’s project management, sales and marketing skills.”
A spin-off from the partnership formed is the one-year secondment to AXEON of Dr David Hendry of the University’s Department of Engineering. Dr Hendry joins the company on 1 October 2000 and will lead their design team working on the next version of the processor chip. Dr Hendry’s expertise in electronic research and his years of experience working at the University will be a valuable asset to AXEON.
Welcoming the secondment, Professor Albert Rodger, Head of the Department of Engineering, said: “I am delighted that our already excellent working relationship with AXEON is taking another step forward. Dr Hendry will bring his scientific expertise to the development of the new chip and will undoubtedly gain from the experience of working in the commercial environment.”
In a further move to cement their relationship with the University, AXEON’s Chief Executive Officer, Hamish Grant, has also announced the introduction of the Gordon Shiells Memorial Award. Mr Grant explained: “Gordon Shiells was our Business Development Director and we were all deeply distressed when he died of cancer earlier this year.
“We wanted to honour his memory is some tangible way and decided to introduce this Award which is open to all final year students studying Electronics at the University of Aberdeen. Gordon was always keen to support young people as they progressed in their career and we are confident he would have approved.
“The Award will take the form of sponsorship at a conference or other industry event which will be of use to the winner in terms of taking the next step in their career development. We already sponsor a postgraduate student working in the area of leading edge micro-processor technology, a move in which Gordon was instrumental in arranging, so the Award seemed highly appropriate.”
News of the prize was warmly welcomed by Professor Tim Spracklen of the University’s Department of Engineering: “I was delighted when AXEON told us of their decision to award this prize. They have given considerable thought to how best our students might benefit as they end their studies and look forward to taking their first steps up the career ladder. Providing networking opportunities at leading edge technology conferences will certainly be an ideal way of providing practical help at that all important time.”
The first winner of the Award will be announced in September 2001.
Further information from:
Christine Cook, Executive Director of Public Relations, University of Aberdeen, Tel: 01224 272014
Mr Helen Hutton, Wired Island, Tel: 0131 220 3283
Photocall details: A photo and interview opportunity has been arranged at 10.00am on Thursday 14 September at Davidson House, Science and Technology Park, Aberdeen). Hamish Grant and Dr David Hendry will be available.