Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that he is pumping £30 million of tax payers' money into a new internet-based research arm.

Called the institute of web science, the organisation is to look into ways the web can help UK businesses. It will be headed up by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and web science guru Professor Nigel Shadbolt.

Brown announced the new initiative in his Building Britain's Digital Future speech, noting: "I can announce the first £30m to support the creation of a new institute, the institute of web science - based here in Britain and working with government and British business to realise the social and economic benefits of advances in the web."

Cutting edge

Brown continued: "This will help place the UK at the cutting edge of research on the semantic web and other emerging web and internet technologies, and ensure that government is taking the right funding decisions to position the UK as a world leader.

"And we will invite universities and private sector web developers and companies to join this collaborative project."

We're guessing this is the first time Brown has ever muttered the words 'semantic' and 'web' in the same sentence.

The institute of web science is yet another step towards creating a better digital infrastructure for the UK – other initiatives include super-fast broadband for all and the opening up of government information for public use on the web.