In a prime example of transfer technology in action UK company, Transacsys Workflow Limited, have acquired the electronic data handling system (EDH) developed by CERN.
Originally developed by CERN scientists to communicate more effectively, the EDH looks set to revolutionise the e-business world. When electronic data handling began there were no commercial packages available that could handle CERN’s wide range of documents and so CERN set about creating its own. With such a widely distributed research base there was a great need for such a system to enable scientists to communicate and exchange documents in an efficient and timely manner. The system provided electronic versions of administrative forms, of which over 100 were in operation, ranging from leave requests to purchase acquisitions. The system operates in English and French and deals in multi-currency – there are currently 29 currencies used at CERN! EDH has even been cited as a blueprint for building large-scale e-business systems due to the way in which the building blocks that make up the system can be adapted to any organisation’s needs. It was this factor that attracted Transacsys Workflow Limited to the system who have now launched a commercial version which they have called “permissioning”.
Under the acquisition, CERN and Transacsys will collaborate on developing EDH over the coming 12 months. Furthermore, CERN will provide expertise and retain the rights to use EDH, which will be available freely to other particle physics laboratories. The deal allows CERN and collaborating laboratories to exchange advances in software.
Commenting on the news PPARC’s Chief Executive Professor Ian Halliday said “This is an excellent example of CERN’s proactive policy towards technology transfer and clearly demonstrates, once more, how research in fundamental physics drives technology development. It is extremely encouraging that a UK company has seen the wider commercial benefits and will develop EDH applications in the business environment.”
Renilde Vanden Broeck, CERN – Press Office, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland, Tel:+41 22 767 2141, Fax: + 41 22 785 0247