€1.5m awarded to NUI Galway to make smartphone cameras better

25 May 2015

Smartphone cameras are about to get a lot better with the news that a €1.5m grant has been awarded to NUI Galway to develop a research project to improve image quality of common smartphone cameras.

Delivered by the Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the funding is part of the SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme, which includes a €750,000 industry contribution from the Galway-based computational imaging company FotoNation.

The research project conducted by NUI Galway students will run for four years and will be used to sustain positions for six PhD researchers and three post-doctoral researchers.

Describing what’s in store for his research and the team’s, principal investigator Dr Peter Corcoran said that this research will contribute to “the future needs of the global consumer electronics industry”.

€1.5m funding launch

Dr Petronel Bigioi of FotoNation and Dr Peter Corcoran of NUI Galway. Image via Aengus McMahon

FotoNation’s technology is currently used in more than 2bn smartphones and digital cameras and the company, a subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, will look to work with the researchers to apply the findings in its software.

At the launch, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said of the funding: “Social media content is becoming increasingly visual, with huge growth in the amount of photos and videos now being shared online.

“This trend is driving strong demand for advancements in smartphone camera technology. This demand presents a strong strategic opportunity for Ireland in the years ahead, and that’s why funding for a project like this through SFI is enormously important.”

Woman taking photo of Tower Bridge image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic