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Three UK Government Agencies Award $2M to British Text-Mining Center

NEW YORK, March 17 (GenomeWeb News) - Three British government agencies have awarded £1 million ($1.9 million) to the National Centre for Text Mining.


The center is a joint project of the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, and Salford, which will have its public launch on March 21, John McNaught, associate director of the center told GenomeWeb News today.


When the text-mining service is online, it will be available to academic researchers in the UKfor free, while international and commercial customers will have access to the service for a fee, said McNaught. The center currently offers "consultancy-type" services, and text-mining will become fully operational in "two to three years," McNaught said.


Exact financial details were not immediately available. "The Joint Information Systems Committee is providing the bulk of the funding," said McNaught. The other two UKgovernmental funding organizations, the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will provide the remainder, he added.


The NaCTeM and its focus on research published in the biological sciences was originally reported in a November article in BioInform, a GenomeWeb News publication.


The NaCTeM uses natural language processing to search the abstracts of scientific studies for the discovery of "patterns and associations that the human eye is more likely to miss," the center said. The method has proven particularly useful in the fields of drug discovery and predictive toxicology, the center added.