Deals done this past week

21 Jun 2010

An overview of the week in deals in the Irish technology sector, including National University of Ireland, Galway’s partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology.

University alliance launches Translational Research Institute

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), one of the world’s premier research universities, has entered into a partnership with National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the University of Limerick (UL) to develop a joint Translational Research Institute.

This development is one of the first initiatives to come out of the NUIG–UL Alliance launched earlier this year.

The Translational Research Institute will focus on the development and synergy of core technologies and expertise within the partner institutions to provide Irish industries with relevant and world-class research solutions.

NUI Galway signs memorandum of understanding with Chinese university

June 14 saw the signing of a formal memorandum of understanding between National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and Ocean University of China (OUC), Qingdao.

The agreement paves the way for student and faculty exchange and research collaboration, particularly between OUC and the Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute based at NUIG.

OUC is a comprehensive university renowned specifically for its disciplines in oceanography and fisheries, and was the first university in China approved by the state as the base for fundamental scientific research and teaching staff training in oceanography, marine chemistry and life-science technology. The university has more than 20,000 registered students, including 4,000 doctoral or master’s degree students.

AOL sells Bebo for undisclosed sum

Internet company AOL has sold social-networking site Bebo to a private investment firm, Criterion Capital Partners.

AOL bought Bebo for US$850m only two years ago. The amount it sold the social-networking firm for was not disclosed. However, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that AOL would only get back a “small fraction” of what it paid for the firm.

AOL announced that it intended to sell Bebo back in April, telling staff in an internal email that the business had been declining and would need a significant investment to be rejuvenated.

Toshiba, Fujitsu to merge mobile phone businesses

The Japanese electronics giants Toshiba and Fujitsu have announced they have agreed a deal to merge their mobile-phone businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Toshiba will transfer its mobile-phone business to a new company to be established in October of this year, with Fujitsu acquiring a majority of the shares in this company.

The two firms say that by merging their mobile-phone businesses they are aiming to become the No 1 provider of mobile phones in Japan.