See a video of Clive Selley's CIO Summit 2010 presentation here\nClive Selley ushers us into his off\u00adice. He appears full of energy, it\u2019s Monday, and I expect he\u2019s had a restful weekend. Not a bit of it: he\u2019s had a total\u00ad of five hours sleep all weekend as he was busy overseeing major technology upgrades at BT, the global British-based telecommunications and services provider he is CIO of.\nA Dilbert card on his office windowsill jokes: \u201cClive began to realise he\u2019d lost control of the meeting\u201d, and depicts a prone IT worker asleep on the desk. Is this how we should be seeing Selley? Again, not a bit of it, especially as conversation turns to his particular passion \u2014 research and development (R&D).\nAt last year\u2019s CIO Summit, Selley\u2019s presentation on R&D gained a great deal of interest from his peers and it is clearly a subject dear to his heart. This CIO is devout in his belief that R&D is central to the future of business, technology and especially BT.\nThe corporation has its own R&D nursery at Adastral Park, just outside Ipswich in Suffolk. Selley and BT are proud of this innovation centre that should really be better known amongst the technology and wider business community.\n\u201cWe do most of our networking and software development there and it really is the hub of our research,\u201d Selley says. "They create a hi-tech buzz and you sense a vibrant feel to the place.\u201d\n\u201cWe\u2019ve extended it to host partner com\u00adpanies and small innovators as well as some big suppliers, so it has an ecosystem feel."\nSelley travels up from BT\u2019s central London HQ to Ipswich once a week and makes sure that he gives himself at least one hour for \u201cjust looking at stuff\u201d that is being \u00addeveloped there.\n\u201cR&D is about casting 100 seeds and expecting three, four, five will grow. If they are significant it will pay for all the other seeds. I can plug the developers and \u00adresearchers into the big sales teams,\u201d he says of the CIO\u2019s role in incubating these new technologies.\n\nApathy in the UKSelley\u2019s view on R&D is wider than the BT sphere he works within, and it is the \u00adnational scale of the subject\u00a0\u2014 or rather the lack of it \u2014 that concerns him.\n\u201cMy fear is that R&D is not as high on the conscience of us [in the UK] as it is in other nations. America has Silicon Valley, most Americans know about Silicon Valley. Although we have that corridor of innovation from Ipswich through to Cambridge it doesn\u2019t have the profile in the UK, so then we can\u2019t get people excited about it.\u201d\nLike R&D, BT is part and parcel of globalisation and Selley has his research feelers out in a wide variety of economies.\n\u201cWe have a team of people to scan technology. One team in Silicon Valley looks at what technology is coming to fruition and how it could touch the business of BT. There are also teams in Israel and South Korea, the latter specialising in gaming. You find innovation of a particular type in each country.\n\u201cIn gaming we have taken a little stake in a cloud gaming company and are working with them to see what we could bring to UK consumers, especially with the \u00adinvestment we\u2019ve made in infrastructure in the UK,\u201d he says.\n\u201cThe teams are spotting companies through the lens of extending the business that we already have; cloud gaming is part of the 21st century network investment.\u201d\nSome companies shy away from R&D and persuade their CIOs it\u2019s just not in their interests, but Selley is fortunate to have the support of an organisation that understands the value R&D delivers and will take the longer view of investments at times.\nSelley explains that the beauty of R&D at BT is that it understands that some of the technologies developed may not \u2014instantly take off or be a part of its network, but they are innovations that will reap a profit for BT. One such product that is currently \u00adbeing worked on that has invigorated Selley leverages BT\u2019s extensive knowledge of fibre optics.\n\u201cWe are looking at fibre that senses changes in signals along it. This could then be used for intrusion sensing, perhaps for use along a railway line. This technology may have a significant impact for real-world business. We\u2019ve been running trials, but now need a real customer.\u201d\nAs a commuter who has on occasion had to suffer delays and cancellations as a result of criminals thieving copper cable from the national rail network, any technology that protects the \u00advalidity and safety of our rail infrastructure is a welcome development.\nSelley promotes researchers not only to push the boundaries of technology at Ad\u00adastral Park, but to also innovate on top of the BT business model, with the cloud gaming model being an example he cites.\nIncreasingly through its BT Vision triple-play TV, telecoms and internet service, BT is offering subscription models to customers\u00ad for extra entertainment or connectivity services. These additional revenue streams are important as voice revenue falls away or is lost to rival services like Skype.\n\u201cThere is a very strong link with technology innovation and commercial reality in Silicon Valley. The US sees Silicon Valley as not a load of boffins: it\u2019s where money is made.\u201d\nThat innovation of science technology translating into business models and then jobs and opportunities is a behavioural pattern Selley strives to promote across BT and especially at Adastral Park.\n\u201cA strategic priority of BT is value-added\u00ad services over broadband. For consumers we must be a broadband telco offering selling services that leverage that broadband pipe. The broadband pipe is not the boundary of our services to you.\u201d\nThat innovation can deliver both technology and business value reflects back to the management team of BT.\n\u201cThe thing you have to appreciate about patents is you need to look at them over a long lifecycle. It might be 10 years before the piece of work and its patent create value. But once it begins you then have the prospect of creating value year-on-year. At BT we have that crop of patents from over time,\u201d he explains.\nSelley says that it is not uncommon for a company to approach BT to license a patent and then for BT to buy the product that the company has created using a BT patent because it can use the innovation to increase the value of a service or a technology it has on offer.\n\u201cWe have a huge amount of interest from CIOs in what we do. For example a specialist logistics firm in Asia is working with us on how they can better track oil rig parts that they ship and all the myriad pieces. BT is using RFID to effectively track every part, especially in environments where stuff goes missing, so you can prevent mayhem occurring.\n\u201cWith CIOs our R&D often cements a relationship we already have: they regard us as part of their research capability.\u201dSelley sharpened the focus of the R&D operation last year with a new governance board that includes BT Group Head of Strategy Olivia Garfield.\n\u201cIt was time to have a fresh look and time to make sure we were accountable. To do that you have to hook into the company strategy and the four lines of the business. We now have a governance team that has operational understanding and a strategic understanding of where we are going to and they direct the investments.\u201d\nAware that hooking in those responsible for daily business can narrow the horizons of research funding, Selley ensured that the governance team also have responsibility to look at research funding over the short, medium and long term because he wanted to make sure that funding wasn\u2019t overly focused on the short term.\nThis board also assesses and manages the expanding research relationships that BT has with universities and other technology suppliers.\n\u201cFormulate projects that you will do with a supplier or a university, and this way you get more research for your \u00admoney,\u201d Selley says of such partnerships.\n\u201cMy span is the IT and the networks, their design and evolution and it\u2019s fantastic. My concerns are across a business that is fairly varied, covering consumer entertainment and broadband at one end and Global Services at the other, selling to customers that are enormous and have very demanding needs,\u201d he says of the role he has done for over a year.\nBT is currently rolling out its nationwide fibre optic network which will take connectivity in the UK to the next level. Fibre networks are being connected to the green cabinets you see in streets and there is a further option to have the fibre travel the extra distance to your home or business premises.\nInternet speeds will be 200 times faster than they are via copper cables at present. Selley explains that the ramifications of this project are far-reaching, as BT\u2019s fleet of exchange buildings will be rationalised significantly, although not all will be decommissioned.\nFibre providerBack in October 2010 telecommunications regulator Ofcom ruled that BT must open its infrastructure of ducts and telegraph poles to other network providers in order to promote a faster roll-out and take-up of high-speed fibre services.\nThere are commentators who believe that this will do more for the national economy than building more roads or even the new High Speed 2 TGV-style railway network to Birmingham and Manchester.\nThe government wants all homes in the UK to have high-speed internet access by 2015.\n\u201cIt\u2019s a really pacy roll-out with four to five thousand customers enabled a week,\u201d he says.\nThe new fibre network is another network Selley and BT have to manage.\nThe company has the world\u2019s largest MPLS for the business community, but the challenge for Selley is that while the networks are the foundations of the BT operation, they are not the value offering.\n\u201cWe have more networks than we need. We have acquired networks, we have built the 21st Century Network in the UK and global MPLS, and it is my responsibility to move people to the new networks because the old networks are complex to us and to our customers. The future investment of this movement is around \u00a32.5bn over five years and I suspect we will go further than that.\u201d\nCornwall was recently moved onto the new fibre network with the assistance of EU funding, allowing BT to rationalise its networks in the West Country.\nIf the strain of just five hours\u2019 sleep over a weekend wasn\u2019t showing on Selley when CIO met him, his love for West Ham United Football Club was.\nAt the time of the interview the team was firmly nailed to the rele\u00adgation zone of the Premiership and embroiled in a public battle with Tottenham Hotspur to take over the Olympic Stadium as its next home.\nSelley, a fan since early childhood when his grandmother knitted him a claret and blue scarf, wedding him to the team, felt the fans were going to lose out no matter what.\nBut football worries were quickly cast aside and Selley\u2019s energy re-channelled into another meeting as we left.\nAlthough some question BT\u2019s ability to deliver a high-speed network for the UK, the CIO is certainly operating at full throttle.