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European Business Strengthened by Microsoft Technology
Microsoft IP Ventures programme connects Skinkers with Microsoft innovations to build tecnology bus.


6 June 2006 -- Today at its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Innovation conference, Microsoft Corp will announce the first spinout of technology from its Microsoft Research Cambridge lab to Skinkers, a London-based start-up. Skinkers, a market leader in direct-to-desktop event notification and content delivery solutions, is acquiring technology that will enable it to reach more customers with faster and more reliable service. As a result of this agreement, Microsoft will get an equity position in the company and an observer seat on the board of directors.

Skinkers will acquire a collaborative agent technology developed by Microsoft Research Cambridge as part of the agreement. Over the next year, Skinkers will co-develop software with Microsoft that will benefit both companies and result in a final product that Skinkers will take to market. Microsoft plans to incorporate part of the final technology into its product line. Microsoft will be a shareholder in Skinkers, and Andrew Herbert, managing director of the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab, will join Skinkers’ board in the capacity of an observer.

“Microsoft’s Cambridge Lab will be working closely with Skinkers in a venture that will bring new innovative technology to the European market,” Herbert said.

“The relationship with IP Ventures enables us to combine our leading direct-to-desktop solutions with the latest collaborative agent content distribution technology from Microsoft, creating exciting new commercial opportunities,” said Matteo Berlucchi, CEO of Skinkers.

The Microsoft IP Ventures programme connects entrepreneurs with innovative technologies developed as part of Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar annual investment in research and development. Through the programme, new companies and economic development organisations gain access to Microsoft Research technologies and, in alliance with investment firms, commercialise the technology.

“The technology and the support available through the IP Ventures programme provide an unparalleled opportunity for small and emerging businesses,” said Jay Patel, executive director of NewMedia SPARK, a venture capital investor organisation based in London.

Currently more than 30 technologies are available for licensing through IP Ventures, and several companies globally have collaborated with Microsoft to license technology and launch new products in fields as diverse as predictive traffic, digital photography and editing, collaborative agent technology, and wireless communications.
xx


Publisher Contact Information:

Skinkers Communications
+44 (0)207 654 7987
bill.mcintyre@iris-pr.com

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