14 June 2006

School's affiliated research centre sold to U.S. company

TeraText, which handles vast amounts of text in databases, was created by an RMIT University subsidiary, InQuirion. Formerly part of research centre Multimedia Database Systems (MDS) closely associated with the School of Computer Science and IT, InQuirion was recently sold to a Fortune 500 company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

Professor Ron Sacks-Davis

Professor Ron Sacks-Davis and other School staff and researchers from the School grew to form its own research centre. MDS was created in 1990 when the Collaborative Information Technology Research Institute (CITRI) was formed by RMIT University and the University of Melbourne. Professor Sacks-Davis' research group from the Department of Computer Science was relocated to CITRI, where he was appointed the Director of Research.

There were many years of ongoing collaboration between MDS and the School of Computer Science and IT, with staff moving between the two entities and other staff spending time in both. MDS increasingly undertook industry-related work and InQuirion was formed by RMIT in 2001.

TeraText is now used in Australia by organisations including the National Library of Australia, the Australian Tax Office, Macquarie Dictionary, the Department of Defence, the Tasmanian and New South Wales legislatures and the Australian Federal Police.

In the USA, it has been sold to national security organisations by SAIC, which provides a wide range of operational and analytical support to the intelligence community.