When the ESPRIT III Project Intuitive ended in the middle of last summer, the Swedish Institute for Systems Development (SISU) was already well under way in its process of finding a suitable exploitation partner that would bring the promising project results into a viable commercial product. As a result, January 1st, 1996, the Swedish company CNet AB will announce version 1.0 of Visual Net, an easy-to-use information retrieval tool for distributed and heterogeneous databases that has been developed using Intuitive technology.
The Intuitive Project (P1111) is a project within the third framework programme of the European Commission. Its objectives were to develop intelligent information retrieval tools for multimedia databases. As in many other ESPRIT III projects, the Intuitive Project Consortium showed a blend of commercial software consultancy companies, user- and research organisations, each type of organisation having its specific role in the exploitation of project results. SISU's exploitation efforts have traditionally been dissemination of research findings to Swedish industry and government. This has been achieved through various reports and seminars but also through joint projects with SISU sponsors.
During the project life time, Intuitive successfully provided valuable results for both academic research (SISU staff produced five accepted research papers and one PhD) and industry. The key for Intuitive's success with Swedish industry has been a close co-operation with user organisations participating in the Intuitive User Group that in many ways influenced Intuitive to develop solutions to problems with high industrial relevance. Use of early prototypes of the Intuitive software developed by SISU made participating companies aware of the solutions Intuitive was to develop and when the project ended, there was a consensus among SISU and the companies that an exploitation solution would have to be found that would go beyond SISU's traditional role as exploiter and make a true viable product, including support, education and further development of new versions. Neither SISU, as a research institute, nor the user organisations participating in the tests wanted to take the sole responsibility for developing and marketing a product. The solution finally accepted, was to sell the right to commercially use the Intuitive results to a software company CNet AB while SISU retains the right to use Intuitive results in further research. CNet AB will pay royalties to SISU for the right to use Intuitive results.