IBM gives Dublin software lab global recognition


5 Sep 2003

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IBM’s Dublin software lab has been designated a Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), one of only seven such sites across the world that will benefit directly from IBM’s annual US$5bn spend on R&D.

IBM will invite five visiting scientists to work at the lab in a move aimed at boosting the expertise of Ireland’s scientific community.

CAS is an IBM initiative that aims to establish good relationships between key academic institutions and individuals that are actively researching areas of interest to the technology giant. The aim of the CAS project is to transform leading edge projects carried out at the centres into IBM products.

“Being a CAS site will enable our Irish operation to capitalise on the wealth of academic research going on in universities across the country,” commented Bill Kearney, Dublin software lab manager at IBM.

Key elements of the programme will involve the funding of five visiting scientist positions at IBM as well as student fellowships from Ireland’s top universities.

The CAS at IBM’s campus in Santry, Dublin will also host final-year student competitions as well as accommodate research partnership proposals from SFI. IBM executives from the CAS will also take part in student mentoring programmes.

In terms of the five visiting scientists, each position is reviewed on a six-monthly basis and scientists will receive attractive monthly allowances, office spaces and access to IBM equipment to help their research. The first of these visiting scientists are expected to begin their contracts on 1 January, 2004. Applications for the positions close on 14 November.

In terms of working with undergraduates from the various universities, students will be allowed to visit the Dublin lab regularly and students will link up with IBM staff to carry out research. Visits to the lab could range from four months of the summer for students to one day a week for college professors. Graduate students will gain funding from various IBM fellowships that are renewable based on the progress of each student and the project for up to three years.

The CAS will be working with SFI’s Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs) funding programme, which will fund scientists who will build collaborative efforts that develop internationally competitive research clusters allied to industry.

It is understood that IBM is already working on a number of proposals to establish CSETs in a variety of areas relating to the work of its Dublin software lab.

By John Kennedy