Exciting Ireland-US research collaboration confirmed by Taoiseach

20 Mar 2017

From left: Prof Brian Fitzgerald, director of Lero; and Prof Adam Porter, scientific director and executive director of the Center for Experimental Software Engineering. Image: Brendan O'Malley

Expect far more transatlantic research partnerships as Lero and the Fraunhofer Center at the University of Maryland agree on a long-term collaboration.

International scientific research partnerships have become big business, and it is not just EU projects getting the go ahead. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed a new collaboration plan between two major research entities either side of the Atlantic.

Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre for software, will join with Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering at the University of Maryland to collaborate on “extensive research” in the coming years.

Lauding the new partnership, Lero researcher Prof Mike Hinchey claimed his group’s new partner offers “the global hallmark of excellence” in application-orientated research.

“It is a tribute to our team of researchers in Ireland that the Fraunhofer Center is committing to this research partnership with Lero in areas of synergy,” he said.

Hinchey, who has previously acted as director of the software engineering laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, added: “Fraunhofer research has been adopted by major US organisations, such as NASA and the Food and Drug Administration, amongst others.”

Prof Adam Porter, executive and scientific director at the Fraunhofer Center, said Lero’s “world class research centre” complements his own group’s areas of expertise.

It’s not the first Irish development involving the Fraunhofer group. Two weeks ago, Dublin City University revealed plans to add a new €5m centre to develop ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology for the life sciences sector, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany.

The aim of the new centre will be to focus on contract and collaborative research, and projects addressing cost-efficient design, development and manufacture of microfluidic lab-on-a-chip designs.

Such technologies have increased in applications in recent years, thanks largely to their flexibility and the rapidly decreasing cost of producing them. One was announced by the Stanford University Medical Center last month.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic