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Science given Internet devotion

A PERTH-based company has developed a series of specialised Internet portals devoted to science and industry.

XPLORnet CEO John Simmonds said the portals would filter the mass of research and technical information produced in the world’s universities, science agencies and laboratories.

Dr Simmonds said while much of this information was in the public domain, it was hard to find.

He said that XPLORnet would provide an outsourcing option for many companies which currently had Intranet-based systems to deliver a mix of public domain and proprietary data to their workforce worldwide.

In addition, large companies would be able to use the service as an Intranet template into which they could integrate and manage their own proprietary data behind a secure firewall.

“XPLORnet will be an online publisher of sorts – providing authors, science agencies and research organisations with a unique publishing medium where they can efficiently disseminate their information, either free or on a user-pays basis,” Dr Simmonds said.

The first portal will be launched mid-year and will be dedicated to minerals exploration and the global earth sciences; the second will be dedicated to the oil and gas industry.

Development of the XPLORnet technology began two years ago as an internal project for WMC Resources.

A prototype was installed by the company as a major component of its proprietary geoscience database.

The multi-client potential of the technology soon became apparent and WMC transferred full commercial rights to Dr Simmonds, who managed the original project.

Seed capital has been provided by WMC and other investors to develop the commercial system.

XPLORnet plans to list on the ASX in the next few months.

The company is looking to raise $4 million through the public share offer.

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