New York-BT alliance


New York technology operating group, incuVest, is to establish an enterprise factory or research facility near BT's Brightstar at Martlesham Heath.

It is part of a strategic alliance announced with BT. The alliance is not thought to involve any significant capital investment.

BT is striking more and more collaborations with leading American technology enterprises and Adastral Park is at the heartland. BT recently injected 2m into the Cambridge-MIT venture and is collaborating on technology generated from MIT's new disruptive technologies lab in Boston.

BT's Brighstar project was founded to try to commercialise technology that is being generated in-house but not being channelled into core products.

Under the new agreement, incuVest will establish a research presence at Adastral park and help analyse the burgeoning portfolio of almost 14,000 patents which BT holds. The process is already underway but BT felt an external eye would prove invaluable.

Technology officer Harry Berry said:'We have a very large patent base but to date have mainly been focused on our main business. There was much greater value to be added by looking at other applications.'

IncuVest plans to mix and match technologies from Brightstar with those under development at its three other enterprise factories in the United States, which focus on electro-optics, microprocessors and genomics.

It will choose ideas that look to have commercial potential and hopes to develop them into business ventures that could go for an IPO within three to five years.

It is possible that incuVest and BT may invest in companies that emerge from Brightstar's intellectual property portfolio. Sometimes this would be in unison, but the two enterprises will be prepared to invest individually in some cases.

IncuVest aims to generate at least one company a year from each of its enterprise factories. Chairman and CEO Richard Morgan said: 'The alliance with BT will give us access to new strategic partners and greater exposure to the telecoms sector.

'One of the great things BT brings us is the huge array of alliances around the world, like AT & T and others.'