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TU Dublin Partners in Three New SFI Centres for Research Training

Posted: 8 March, 2019

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD have announced an investment of over €100 million in six new SFI Centres for Research Training Centres.

Prof. John Kelleher (TU Dublin), Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General at Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Professor Sarah Jane Delany (TU Dublin) and Prof. Max Ammann (TU Dublin)

TU Dublin academics have been named partners at three of the six new SFI centres, which will provide training for 700 postgraduate students in the areas of nationally and internationally identified future skills needs of digital, data and ICT.

Professor Sarah Jane Delany - SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning

From self-driving cars to chess-playing computers, from autonomous booking agents to automated financial trading systems, applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are having massive impacts in ever-growing aspects of our lives.

The Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning is designed to address the urgent industry demand for ML talent and will train 120 PhD students over seven years. The centre will produce academically outstanding, industry-ready PhD graduates in tightly connected cohorts. These graduates will be future leaders managing the disruption that ML is causing across industry and society, and will strengthen the reputation of Ireland as a global hub for ML education, research, and application.

The Team: Prof Sarah Jane Delany (TU Dublin), Dr Brian McNamee (UCD), Dr Georgiana Ifrim (UCD), Prof Noel O’Connor (DCU)

Professor John Kelleher - SFI Centre for Research Training in Digitally Enhanced Reality

The SFI Centre for Research Training in Digitally-Enhanced Reality (D-REAL) is an innovative, industry partnered, research training programme that will equip 120 PhD students with in-depth ICT knowledge and skills across Digital Platform Technology, Content and Media Technology and their application in Industry sectors. D-REAL postgraduate students will make research breakthroughs in areas such as multimodal interaction, multimodal digital assistants, multilingual speech processing, real-time multilingual translation and interaction, machine intelligence for video analytics and multimodal personalisation and agency. 

The Team: Professor John Kelleher (TU Dublin), Prof Carol O’Sullivan (TCD), Prof Vincent Wade (TCD), Prof Alan Smeaton (DCU), Prof Peter Corcoran (NUIG), Prof Julie Berndsen (UCD)

Prof Max Ammann - SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks for Sustainable Societies or ADVANCE.

We live in a society where ubiquitous, high-speed communication networks enable, and increasingly dominate, our family, social and working lives. These networks enable an ever-increasing range of human-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication applications in the Internet of Things. This expanding hyper-connectivity will create new communication, sensing and control services, and forms of interconnectivity and services between people and Things in ways we cannot yet even fully envisage.

ADVANCE will train the next generation of researchers who will seek solutions to the technical and societal challenges of global hyper-connectivity between large numbers of People and Things leading to exceptionally dense communications networks. 

The Team: Prof Max Ammann (TU Dublin) with Prof Dirk Pesch (UCC), Prof John Barrett (CIT), Dr Deirdre Desmond (NUIM), Prof Siobhán Clarke (TCD), Prof Cormac Sreenan (UCC)

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Brian O’Neill, Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation Services at TU Dublin – City Campus said; “This is a very significant investment which will build on the excellent education programmes already available at TU Dublin and its partners. My colleagues have collaborated with researchers in other HEIs, industry and international partners to develop outstanding national programmes of research and training in digital, data and ICT skills, which are key to establishing Ireland as a Global Innovation Leader while creating high-value jobs and delivering pioneering products of enduring societal impact.”

Welcoming the announcement of the SFI Centres for Research Training, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said, “In Project 2040, the Government has set objectives that will ensure a strong economic future for Ireland. Delivering on these will require continued investment in skills and talent in research and development, equipping the champions of this future economy with the tools and expertise necessary to build it. 

“The six new SFI Centres for Research Training will bring together the higher education sector and industry to develop and deliver innovative programmes of research and training for postgraduate students in Ireland.”

“In line the Government’s new Future Jobs initiative, which we will launch in the coming days, these programmes will allow students to develop and learn about critical technologies for the future in areas like machine learning, artificial intelligence and more. This is all part of our wider effort to ensure that we are preparing now for tomorrow’s economy.

“I want to congratulate the teams involved in forming the centres and encourage postgraduate students across the country to apply to them.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD said; "It is a government priority to develop and maintain a pipeline of highly trained, well-networked research talent in areas of strategic importance for Ireland. Through the SFI Centres for Research Training, we will take a cohort-based approach to research training, allowing for better integration and collaboration across disciplines, and ultimately, individuals who are well-rounded, well-equipped, and confident to guide Ireland to a strong economy. The cohort approach will expose students to the wider scientific relevance of their research, encourage peer-to-peer learning and facilitate the establishment of networks, empowering them to take on positions of leadership.”

The SFI Centres for Research Training will generate strong collaborations between research and industry. They will involve partnerships across multiple Higher Education Institutions including University College Dublin (UCD), Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), University College Cork (UCC), Maynooth University (MU), University of Limerick (UL), NUI Galway (NUIG), Tyndall National Institute (TNI) and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI).

The SFI Centres for Research Training are now open for recruitment, and postgraduate students across the country are encouraged to apply for this innovative programme, which will build on research excellence in Ireland.

For more information on the SFI Centres for Research Training programme, visit the SFI’s website.