Over the last few years I've undertaken commercialisation efforts for some of my research. As UK researchers know, this is a strategic priority for the UK EPSRC, which is the main funding council for computer science.

Contemplate Ltd

In 2009 I co-founded a spin-out company Contemplate Ltd together with Don Sannella. Contemplate is developing unique programming tools for software quality and employs a small number of talented researchers and engineers recruited from University of Edinburgh and beyond.

In 2012, Contemplate released its first product, ThreadSafe, which analyses Java programs to find likely concurrency defects.

I am CSO of Contemplate, responsible for scientific visionary leadership.

Contemplate Logo

Research Towards Commercialisation

I was PI on an EPSRC Follow-On Fund award, Resource Enhanced Static Analysis which completed in 2010. It built on ideas originated in the ReQueST project, although it is not oriented towards e-Science. The Follow-On project certainly got the technology nearer to a usable prototype, although it is a serious challenge to scale to a real programming language.

I was technical leader of a series of contract research studies provided by University of Edinburgh to ITI Techmedia during 2007-9, leading up to and during their Software Integrity Engineering Programme. This involved applied studies of software tools for error detection and correction in mainstream programming languages such as Java. I led investigations by a team of up to 15 engineers and researchers. The output of the work was the subject of license negotiation by commercialisation partners.

Support for Commercialisation in Informatics

We are lucky that the School of Informatics has an excellent dedicated commercialisation team, contributing on a great variety of mechanisms to support entrepreneurship, business development, and help organise, host and advertise formal within the start-up and wider business community. Here are some useful pointers to pages describing some of the activities:

Further afield within the University of Edinburgh, there is also strong support for commercialisation. This is mainly coordinated by Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI).

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David R. Aspinall, email
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