SFI Insight centre gets €650,000 cloud computing credits to boost research

2 Feb 2023

Image: © RareStock/Stock.adobe.com

These credits will help Insight researchers utilise the power of commercial cloud computing to expand two projects, potentially opening up new research avenues.

Insight, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for data analytics, has been given cloud computing credits worth €650,000 to boost two collaborative research projects.

The research centre will put the credits toward two projects focused on digital twins in medtech and digital healthcare, as well as IoT, AI and environmental sensing.

These credits will help Insight researchers utilise the power of cloud computing services to expand the projects, potentially opening up new research avenues.

The SFI centre said the methods and outcomes of these projects will also lead to data being published through the EU Open Data Directive, which will facilitate further research.

The cloud credits were awarded to Insight by Géant, which is a collaboration of European national research and education networks. These credits were distributed by the OCRE framework following a mini tender competition.

OCRE – or the Open Clouds for Research Environments project – was formed to give researchers access to the commercial cloud services offered by companies such as Google, Amazon and Orange.

Insight said similar projects would usually be restricted in their development due to their dependence on locally available computing resources.

Insight CEO Prof Noel O’Connor said the award is a “clear demonstration” of the benefit EU-wide services can provide.

“This award will significantly contribute to advancing Insight’s existing world-class research into digital twins and the Internet of Things, whilst furthering Ireland’s contribution to the European Open Science Cloud,” O’Connor said.

Cloud computing company Rackspace Technology supported Insight in the funding bid and will support the collaborative projects going forward. Rackspace is the contracted partner for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Ireland.

AWS Ireland education and research lead Rory Barrins said the OCRE framework has removed barriers to cloud access and accelerated research across the EU.

Last December, it was announced that OCRE was starting to wind down its services after giving roughly €8.5m in grants to researchers since 2019.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic