Prof Michael O'Neill, a Principal Investigator with Lero - the Science Foundation Ireland Software Research Centre, has conducted successful research into the generation of advanced adaptive algorithms. These algorithms are used to configure and manage small cell wireless networks equipment called femtocells, which are used to improve the capacity of mobile communications networks, and are a requirement to enable the internet of everything. Prof O’Neill’s group also take inspiration from the natural world including biological evolution and genetics to generate self-adaptive software systems moving us closer to smart or intelligent systems. They are currently ranked #1 in the World for genetic programming, evolutionary algorithms and genetic algorithms.
Dundalk IT based Dr Fergal McCaffery’s work into medical device technology is enabling manufacturers to meet international regulatory standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). MDevSPICE, developed by Prof McCaffery’s, is a framework used by organisations to efficiently and economically comply with regulatory standards, the toolkit also makes their products more attractive to international markets as they can demonstrate to large medical device companies that they are capable of providing them with safe software.
With the rapid increase in the spread of social media and global online news, there has never been a more critical need for fast, accurate machine translation. Deputy Director Prof Andy Way and his team at the Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Research Centre have long been working in this field and have already seen commercial success with the effective spinout of the ICONIC Translation Machines company as well as Kantan MT. Prof Way was also recently appointed National Anchor Point in Ireland for the European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC). 30 European countries are currently participating in the initiative, which aims to identify and gather language and translation data relevant to national public services, administrations and governmental institutions.
Dr Eoin Casey from UCD is one of the co-founders of the award winning UCD spinout company Oxymem. They have revolutionised the wastewater sector by developing a cheaper more efficient way of bringing much needed oxygen to the bacteria that are used to purify water. Their membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) delivers oxygen directly to the bacteria resulting in a 4 fold saving on energy costs.
The Science Foundation Ireland-funded Insight Centre for Data Analytics has been a forerunner in data analytics and big data for a number of years. They have recently led the, now European-wide discussion, around the complex ethics and privacy issues associated with these areas. Professor Barry O'Sullivan, Director of Insight at UCC, is heading up Insight's 'Magna Carta for Data' initiative which aims to objectively weigh the benefits of big data research to the public, with the privacy and data protection rights associated with this increasingly important field of research. Professor O'Sullivan is not only bringing this issue to European colleagues in Brussels but has also presented this initiative at the UN headquarters in New York and in Washington DC.
Dr Tim McCarthy and his research team at the National Centre for Geocomputation have their drones in everyone's pies, working on 4D fencing for no-fly zones with national start-up company Verifly, precision agriculture with Teagasc, marine and off-shore monitoring with Science Foundation Ireland research centre iCRAG, and emergency response with the European Space Agency. The sky appears to be the limit for drone technology.
Though you might not know it, bone is a living tissue and is constantly being repaired and replaced to keep our bones strong. Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the repair of bone tissue and leaves behind brittle and weak bones. Dr Laoise McNamara is a Science Foundation Ireland Investigator, who is studying the mechanical and signalling differences between healthy and osteoporotic bone cells in order to develop new therapies. By combining cell biology and computational modelling her research group is looking into preventing bone fracture and stimulating bone regeneration. Dr. McNamara is also part of the SFI funded CÚRAM centre for research in medical devices, and through CURAM is extending her research findings to inform the design of medical devices.
Dr Rachel McDonnell from the Creative Technologies group at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin is putting a smile on the faces of animated characters everywhere. Working with Brown Bag Films she is studying the facial responses of actors to specific cues and translating their facial expressions to the virtual characters used in the storytelling aspect to modern gaming. This incredibly complex and previously time consuming process gives authenticity to gaming and provides a much more immersive experience.
Ireland is home to a new testbed initiative called “Pervasive Nation”, an island-wide infrastructure dedicated to Internet of Things. The CONNECT centre for Future Networks and Communications led by Prof Linda Doyle is championing Pervasive Nation which will span urban, suburban and rural Ireland, supporting research and commercial Internet of Things activities. This will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Dr Damien Thompson from the University of Limerick is bringing advanced technology to the medical industry. By developing extremely sensitive sensors he is hoping to accurately identify viral and bacterial particles in the blood, even at trace levels. This technology will enable medical professionals to detect disease onset at the earliest possible stages and will also aid the fight against antibiotic resistance which is believed to be one of the major medical issues facing humanity this century.