A UK-based consortium, which is working to provide a secure framework to enable the growth of e-commerce, has won a 235,000 pound grant from the European Union. The Alliance for Electronic Business (AEB), backed by trade organizations representing tens of thousands of businesses in the UK, Belgium and Spain, has called its initiative Emeritus, with the aim of creating a system where businesses can trade confidently on the internet, secure in the knowledge that they are dealing with reputable partners. Emeritus, which stands for E-Business Model for the Effective Realization of Trust Services infrastructure, will rely heavily on trusted third parties. British Telecommunications Plc, which earlier this week signed a deal with Verisign for digital certificate software (CI No 3,512) is the favorite to fill this role. The AEB is conscious that a worldwide system is needed and hopes that the system it develops can link up with similar initiatives in other parts of the world to give businesses security wherever they trade.