Ireland to host three global software conferences


30 Oct 2007

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Three global software conferences of vital importance to the software engineering and software distribution industries are to be hosted in Ireland next year and in 2009, siliconrepublic.com has learned

Limerick-based software engineering research body Lero, which is backed by Science Foundation Ireland, is hosting a number of global software industry conferences that will ensure Ireland stays to the forefront and gains recognition as a producer of software products.

In June Lero will be playing host to the Ninth International Conference on eXtreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering. The conference will take place in Limerick between 10 and 14 June next year.

Between 8 and 12 September next, Lero will play host to the 12th International Software Product Line Conference. The conference had previously been held in Maryland in the US and in South Korea.

And, in August 2009 Lero will play host to the International Conference on Global Software Engineering.

In June this year Lero hosted the 3rd International Conference on Open Source Systems 2007

Lero was established in 2005 with €11.7 million in Science Foundation Ireland funding. Although led by the University of Limerick, it also has research groups in Dublin City University, Trinity College, University College Dublin and other institutions.

The centre has industry links to companies such as Intel, Analog Devices, IBM Ireland and Robert Bosch. The research centre employs about 30 staff, with a number of new recruits this year, according to Lero’s Kevin Ryan.

Seventeen projects are currently underway across Lero’s various locations. Ryan said that the research focus is the automotive industry and the medical devices industry, but he said the centre has undertaken a wide range of projects.

In September it emerged that Lero was awarded €7.3 million to fund a new building for the centre in the University of Limerick (UL) and to develop a new PhD programme. The centre – with bases in other third-level institutions – received the funding under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 4 programme by the Higher Education Authority.

Ryan told siliconrepublic.com that among the projects being worked on by researchers in the various third level institutions are autonomic or grid computing in terms of computer networks that would self-heal and self repair.

Colleges are also researching the global distribution of software and the mathematical foundations of software engineering in order to ensure accurate deployment of software for specific but crucial applications such as in healthcare.

Another area currently being developed by Lero-affiliated researchers is software product line engineering, focusing on how software firms produce variants of the same software package.

“Software companies that base themselves in Ireland are looking for research competencies as a route to survival and product development,” explained Ryan.

Ryan continued: “The purpose of Lero is to establish a centre of excellence for software engineering so that Irish-based software companies are able to get a leg up on the corporate ladder and have a comparative advantage against the rest of the world.

“The aim is to provide companies with the access to skills, expertise and research through skilled PhDs and graduate students. The aim is to keep Ireland ahead of the pack,” Ryan added.

By John Kennedy

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