Scotland invests £4.3m to improve software quality

ITI Techmedia's R&D programme into error detection in software is being backed by the Scottish Executive
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor

Scottish technology institute ITI Techmedia has unveiled plans to develop new techniques for targeting the incidence of errors across a range of commonly used software-development processes.

ITI Techmedia's Software Integrity Engineering research and development programme will receive an investment of £4.3m over three years from the Scottish Executive, and will focus on developing enhancement tools which are applicable to error detection and correction in mainstream programming languages such as Java and C++.

In its role as a co-ordinating body, ITI Techmedia's analysts have appointed project managers to oversee this work within a number of international research and development firms with Scottish offices, including Mindsheet, BitWise and Roke Manor Research.

"We are looking to develop scientific techniques that will enhance the tool-chain commonly used by developers in their day-to-day roles. Software development is undoubtedly getting more complex and sophisticated, with increasing pressure to get to market quickly. Our aim is to develop a set of error-detection techniques that will identify errors early on in the software-development process and ultimately produce better functioning software in both commercial and mission-critical defence environments," said Terry Hurley, managing director of ITI Techmedia.

It is believed the results of the programme will be most useful to developers during the static analysis phase before they enter the deploy stage of projects.

"Software underpins the performance of all sectors of the economy; therefore, new approaches that can improve the integrity of ever more complex systems will offer huge benefits to end users. I am delighted that ITI Techmedia has successfully developed this important research and development programme that will bolster Scotland's reputation for robust software, as it also has the potential to deliver significant commercial advantage in a rapidly expanding global market," said Scottish Parliament enterprise minister Jim Mather.

ITI Techmedia claimed that additional organisations will be added to complement the skills of its research and development group during the lifetime of the programme. This is the eighth research and development programme for ITI Techmedia, whose remit is to develop market-driven intellectual property for the benefit of the Scottish economy. ITI Techmedia estimates that the market opportunity for software-quality tools could grow from $2bn (£1bn) in 2007 to $3.8bn by 2016.

Editorial standards