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June 29, 1987

PLESSEY PUTS VENTURE CAPITALISTS IN DOCK OVER SPEECH RECOGNITION PROJECT

By CBR Staff Writer

Plessey Co is not prepared to put any more of its own money into the speech recognition project it embarked upon in 1983 with contributory funding from the Department of Trade & Industry’s Alvey programme – and unless it can persuade GEC Plc to take over the project, it will close it down, reports the Independent. The project, to develop a recognition system capable of following continuous human speech, has so far consumed UKP14.5m, and Plessey hoped to raise commercial funding to complete it by forming the project into a stand-alone company and raising venture capital for it. Plessey failed to raise the UKP5m it was seeking for the company, which will raise renewed complaints that strong British developments fall by the wayside for want of the necessary risk capital to bring them to market. The project currently employs 24 people.

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