€1.2million initial research programme to help make Ireland a world-leader in cloud computing – Minister Bruton

Minister announces details of initial research programme in industry-led cloud technology research centre

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., today (Monday, 2nd April, 2012) announced details of the €1.2million initial research programme in the Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre, aimed at helping to make Ireland a world leader in this fast-growing area, and at making a significant contribution to jobs and economic growth.

Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launching the research phase of the Cloud Computing Technology Centre; with (L-R) Gerry Murray, Fort Technologies, Francis Magann, Fujitsu and Theo Lynn from DCU, the lead research partner in the project.
Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launching the research phase of the Cloud Computing Technology Centre; with (L-R) Gerry Murray, Fort Technologies, Francis Magann, Fujitsu and Theo Lynn from DCU, the lead research partner in the project.

Cloud computing is a key target sector identified in the Action Plan for Jobs as offering major potential for Ireland, and establishing a Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre is one of the major actions contained in the plan aimed at realising this potential.

The funding will be allocated over 12 months to a consortium of Higher Education Institutions to carry out the initial research programme of Centre.

Led by Dublin City University, the research consortium which includes University College Cork, and Athlone Institute of Technology with input from the Innovation Value Institute at NUIM, will use the funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through Enterprise Ireland to work with a group of software companies to establish ways to generate business and profit from cloud computing.

The four principal areas into which research will be carried out are:

  • cloud computing technology architecture, including design, configuration and operation;
  • service management – cloud computing is now regarded as a utility service for organisations of all sizes, and there is need therefore for new methods and tools for designing, developing, releasing, maintaining and managing cloud-based applications and services;
  • business research – organisational and business models are as important as technology for cloud service providers;
  • cloud security – providing security is a key component in building trust in cloud-based services to ensure a quality user experience.

Making the announcement today, Minister Bruton said:

“A key part of this Government’s plan for growth and jobs is identifying areas where we believe Ireland has distinct advantages compared to other countries, and taking steps necessary to ensure that we realise our potential in those areas. Cloud computing is one such sector, and the Government believes that between our climate, skills base, telecoms connectivity and existing strengths in ICT, we have the potential to reap substantial benefits in terms of jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector.

“However this growth won’t happen automatically, and through the Action Plan for Jobs we will implement a series of measures to encourage the growth of the sector. Today I am very pleased to announce the initial programme of industry-led research in the Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre. This Centre will follow international best practice in bringing academic researchers together with industry so as to ensure that our research strengths are targeted at answering questions that will help companies create viable business ideas and ultimately jobs in this area.

“Through the Action Plan for Jobs, I am determined to continue implementing change to ensure that Ireland realises its potential in this area and contribute to the jobs and growth we so badly need”.

According to Gearoid Mooney, Director of ICT Commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland, this research is vital to help Irish companies adopt cloud computing: “Having the capacity to do computing this way is one thing but software companies have to figure out how to make best use of this technology. While cloud computing has opened up many opportunities for software businesses there are enough unknowns to make research necessary. These are the issues that the Cloud Computing Technology Centre will help Irish based companies address”, he said.

He continued “The focus of the researchers in DCU, UCC, AIT and the Innovation Value Institute will be on identifying, harvesting, incubating and commercialising university and industry-led R&D to create new technologies, usage models and commercial applications for the global cloud computing marketplace. This is critical activity if Ireland is to become a leader in the cloud computing industry” said Mooney.

Professor Brian MacCraith President of DCU, the lead research partner, said: “As Ireland’s University of Enterprise, DCU is delighted to lead a research consortium that will provide solutions for industry-defined problems in a technological area of global importance. This partnership between enterprise and the Higher Institutes of Education will play a key role in economic development and contribute to Ireland’s recovery and, most importantly, job creation.”

This initial research programme will last 12 months and is a significant step in the context of a Government funded 5 year investment in a Technology Centre for Cloud Computing.

The Cloud Computing Technology Centre is the latest of 10 such thematically based centres to be established jointly by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Cloud Computing is already a significant part of the overall market for information technology and services and is now one of the fastest growing segments of the market.

The global research organization Gartner Inc. estimates that worldwide revenues from Cloud services will be as high as $148bn by 2014. Cloud computing gives the user access to a range of computing services on a pay per use basis. This means that customers of cloud computing do not need to invest in expensive computer hardware or software.  Instead, they can gain access to a shared pool of computing resources (networks, servers, storage, applications, services) through a web browser and only pay for the time they are using them - similar to the way consumers only pay for the electricity they use, not its generation and distribution.

As well as providing cost savings, cloud computing also offers consumers levels of security, reliability and support that are often prohibitively costly to all but the larger organisations.

Technology Centres are public-private research centres of excellence that connect industry to the Higher Education sector to increase the generation and availability of new, industrially relevant knowledge. The research agenda is driven by the companies that are involved and leverages the strength of other previous academic research funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.

A cohort of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland companies produced the research agenda for the Centre which sets out the areas which are of direct relevance to them over a 3-5 years period. The research team from DCU, UCC and AIT proposed projects around this agenda. The researchers will deliver strategic research with a longer term focus, the results of which should be relevant to a large number of Irish bases companies interest in migrating their business to the cloud.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi
Enterprise Ireland
Communications Officer

Grace Labanyi
+353 1 7272746 
+353 87 3286404

Press Office,
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

01 6312200
press.office@djei.ie