Washington D.C., USA, March 12, 2020: With a goal of linking scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics is pleased to announce a four-year €1.5 million collaborative project between its Insight Centre at Dublin City University (DCU) and Xperi Corporation, a leading Silicon Valley-based technology company focused on the delivery of premium audio, imaging, and semiconductor solutions. Tasked with advancing machine learning (ML) and intelligent imaging for application in billions of smart devices around the world, the 'Machine Learning for Intelligent Imaging' project will be supported by a team of 11 researchers co-located between Insight DCU and Xperi’s innovation hub in Galway, Ireland. 

As a part of this unique, co-funded partnership with industry, the collaboration will provide focused training to five Dublin City University research engineering students in the fields of machine learning and image understanding. Prioritized research goals will include advancements in image enhancement using ML, learning from limited training data, joint video and audio analytics using ML, low power ML and artificial intelligence algorithms on the edge, adversarial attacks on recognition systems, computer vision and saliency, among other research priorities. In addition, the partnership is expected to generate high-quality peer reviewed publications and conference presentations, together with significant intellectual property.

Speaking from the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal award event in Washington D.C., Insight’s Chief Executive Officer, Prof Noel O’Connor, said: “Insight is delighted to have the opportunity to develop a deep and lasting partnership with Xperi. The initiative brings together Ireland’s leading computer vision and AI researchers with a world-leading industry partner. It targets an ambitious programme of work that will advance the state-of-the-art in image understanding and machine learning and provide valuable innovation and intellectual property to Xperi. It is an excellent example of how SFI-funded expertise can help Irish-based companies through mutually beneficial research partnerships.” 

Xperi’s Chief Technology Officer, Imaging, Dr. Petronel Bigioi, said: “Xperi is engaged in the relentless pursuit of continuous innovation and meaningful technological advancements as we look to set a new standard with leading-edge development in the Information and Communications Technology sector. We expect that this unique collaboration with Insight will work to enhance and extend breakthrough imaging technology with the potential to fundamentally reimagine what is possible from intelligent, integrated, and immersive technology operating at the edge. At the same time, we also are pleased to deepen our presence in Ireland as this important partnership further strengthens Xperi’s innovation hub in Galway, adding local academic engineering talent focused on developing Xperi’s latest innovative solutions.”

The research associated with this industry partnership will be led by Prof Noel O’Connor (Insight), Prof Alan Smeaton (DCU), Dr. Kevin McGuinness (DCU), Dr. Suzanne Little (DCU), Dr. Petronel Bigioi (Xperi), Joe Lemley (Xperi) and Prof Chris Dainty (Xperi).

Project funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland for Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics, along with industry partnership support from Xperi Corporation. Science Foundation Ireland Director General and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Prof Mark Ferguson also welcomed the announcement, adding, “SFI Research Centres such as Insight are the driving force for connecting leading-edge industry with world-class researchers in Ireland. SFI welcomes this partnership as it continues to elevate Ireland’s international reputation for research excellence with impact, while developing a competitive edge in the emerging AI market. We look forward to the significant opportunities and outputs that this collaboration will create.”