10 February, 2017
The recent launch of the SFI Adapt research centre is an exciting development in the Irish Research landscape. The Adapt research programme is focused on developing technology for digital content analysis, management, and transformation. The Adapt centre is a research partnership funded by SFI between DIT, TCD, DCU and UCD. The inclusion of DIT as partner in the centre is another sign of the growing importance of DIT as a locus of research within Ireland. DIT contributes expertise in the areas of machine learning and data analytics to the Adapt centre. The DIT Applied Intelligence Research Centre (http://ditairc.ie) will host 4 PhD students funded through Adapt. DIT is an ideal host for these students because it has excellent track record in machine learning and data science. The DIT MSc in Computing (Data Analytics) has been successfully running since 2010 and more recently Dr. John D. Kelleher from DIT School of Computing and the Adapt project lead at DIT co-authoured a textbook on machine learning that was published by MIT press1 . DITs trackrecord in data analytics is also highlighted by the fact that it is a partner in the Enterprise Ireland funded national Centre for Data Analytics research (http://ceadar.ie). The fact that DIT is a partner in both Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland funded centres of data analytics research highlights the institutes strategic position at the interface between basic data science research and applied industry focused applications. Globally it is recognized that there is a continued shortage of data analytics skills: Forbes for example noted that “despite the activity around Big Data, there is still a significant shortage of skilled professionals who can truly be called Data Scientists”2 . More locally the Forf´as Expert Group on Future Skills 2014 report on “Assessing the Demand for Big Data and Analytics Skills, 2013 - 2020”, identified a likely shortfall of approximately 3, 630 analytics experts for deep analytical roles by 2020 and recommended “up-skilling of talent” and activities to “attract and develop top talent”. DIT has for a number of years been addressing this shortage directly by training data analytics professionals through the MSc in Computing (Data Analytics) and PhD training. The Adapt investment in DIT will further strengthen DIT’s data analytics research capacity and enable DIT to continue to contribute to the Irish economy through human capacity development. Finally, a key strategic target for the Adapt research centre is to leverage the funding investment by SFI to secure both international and private sector funding for research in Ireland. This target aligns directly with DIT’s plans to continue to grow the research funding of the institute as it transitions into a Technological University.
An example of this is ADAPT’s All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO)