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CENTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS WINS $1.2 MILLION GRANT

 CENTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS WINS $1.2 MILLION GRANT
 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Matt Kuhn,


president of MCNC, announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Center for Communications at MCNC a $1.2 million, three-year grant to support the Clearinghouse for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval.
 An estimated four to six million people are connected through their computers to some 6,000 research and education networks around the globe at a million sites, according to George Brett, manager of networked information in the Center for Communications. Those networks, known collectively as the "Internet," let people all over the world share information with each other. Users include librarians and teachers, university faculty and students, researchers in business and industry, military experts and government officials.
 With the NSF grant, the Clearinghouse will increase its efforts to promote the development and use of tools that make it easier for users to retrieve information stored electronically.
 Says Brett, "These tools are like electronic library cards and more. Not only do they help you find any networked storehouse of information anywhere in the world, but they can also take you by computer to the shelf, book, page and paragraph you want and deliver the data to your desk. Then the tools can help you read the information, whether it is prepared text, raw data or photo."
 The networked information retrieval tools are already in use in North Carolina on projects at UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and UNC-Charlotte, Brett says, and he is exploring the use of the tools at East Carolina University and UNC-Wilmington.
 "People who are not specialists in computer science or networking need tools that will let them search for information available only electronically in computer databases and networks that are multiplying daily," says Alan Blatecky, vice president for communications at MCNC.
 "The NSF grant will allow the Clearinghouse to expand its work on high-level networked information retrieval tools that are standardized for compatibility and consistency so that people will have easier access to information of all kinds," Blatecky says.
 Brett, who works with tools named archie, gopher, prospero, Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) and WorldWide Web, says, "There are a lot of issues surrounding networked information and how it can be sent and received. People are already creating solutions for some of those problems. We want to see that the solutions will work together."
 "This is one of the key strategic directions we have targeted for the Center for Communications," says Blatecky. He says the Clearinghouse will hold workshops to train people to use new and existing tools for searching networked information. In addition, he says, the Clearinghouse will work to promulgate a set of standards that network users can agree on.
 "Once these standards become widely accepted," Blatecky predicts, "people will be able to share information in ways that have never been possible before."
 BACKGROUND: The Clearingnhouse for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval has received start-up support over the last several months from the Center for Communications at MCNC, Apple Computer Inc., Digital Equipment Corp., IBM, NeXT and the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Information Technology.
 The Center for Communications is a division of MCNC in Research Triangle Park. The Center for Communications manages CONCERT, the audio/video network that interconnects video classrooms at eight universities and four medical schools across North Carolina so that faculty and students can share classes as if they were in the same room together. In addition CONCERT is a high-performance data network that interconnects 8-10,000 computers at universities and businesses across the state with the Internet.
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Leila Tvedt, MCNC, 919-248-1826/ CO: MCNC ST: North Carolina IN: CPR SU:


MM -- CH001 -- 0302 10/08/92 09:17 EDT
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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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