BT has been a long-standing strategic partner of UCL. In 2001, the company established, with four other industrial partners, a blue-sky telecoms Research Centre at Adastral Park, Ipswich (next to the BT research arm). With initial funding of £15 million, the Research Centre aimed to accelerate innovation; and this was the first time a UK university moved part of its postgraduate research to an industrial site.
The other industrial partners were Agilent, Corning, Marconi, and Nortel Networks, with other participants including DTI, ESPRC and other electronics firms. Initial research themes for UCL at Adastral Park were identified as: IP evolution for next generation networking; lightwave enabled multiservice networks; broadband mobile and wireless systems; and content, use and usability in applications. BT has continued to partner strongly with UCL on research and in Masters programmes, where they pioneered UK university-industry Masters training.