SFI’s Insight centre invests €350,000 in new Irish research collaborations

29 Sep 2022

Insight CEO Prof Noel O’Connor. Image: SFI Insight centre

Seven data projects are being funded, covering areas such as lifestyle predictors for dementia, energy efficient scheduling for industry, and safe AI for medical devices.

Insight, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for data analytics, is investing in new collaborations with the country’s institutes of technology and technological universities.

Seven new projects are to be awarded funding from a total pot of €350,000. These projects cover a range of areas including energy efficient scheduling for industry, lifestyle predictors for dementia, and safe AI for medical devices.

Insight said the projects were selected on the basis of scientific excellence and gender balance, among other criteria. The projects involve an additional 20 researchers, with this cohort having an equal number of men and women.

These researchers are drawn from TU Dublin, Munster Technological University, Atlantic Technological University and Dundalk Institute of Technology.

The projects came from an open call for proposals, which were independently evaluated by a gender-balanced team of senior experts drawn from different higher education institutions and disciplines.

Insight CEO Prof Noel O’Connor, who recently wrote that it’s time for Ireland to establish a neurotechnology project, said the rigorous selection process ensured that each project passes a “high bar for scientific excellence” and draws from the “widest possible talent pool”.

“We have the opportunity to form research synergies with the agile and dynamic technological university network,” O’Connor added. “Ireland is ambitious – we are growing a world-class research corps that will drive projects to transform society, health, technology and industry for the better. This is how we do it.”

The seven projects being funded also bring in new international collaborations with institutions in Northern Ireland, Spain, the US, Italy, Belgium and France.

Here are the seven projects being supported through the Insight collaborations:

Active labelling for artificial intelligence

This project will develop an online, open-source, active labelling platform that can be used for image and text data using state-of-the-art active labelling techniques. The team said the availability of a large amount of labelled training data is a key component in developing effective machine learning models.

Consolidating multiple disease models at different scales

Learning from insights across institutions from the pandemic, this project will consolidate the work of Insight investigators and TU Dublin collaborators who were involved in the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group and its response to Covid-19.

DemenPred: Dementia prediction

This study will use the UK Biobank data set to investigate whether a small set of features can be used to predict dementia before it is diagnosed. The features include socio-demographics, self-reported health indications and physical activity monitoring from wearable sensors

GAA DIGTL: Data and insights in a Gaelic games technological landscape

This project will investigate digital transformation within the GAA to ensure that the rich data sets collected within the organisation can be effectively capitalised upon. The researchers said the need for data and evidence to support the decision-making process at every level of sport has never been higher.

L2L: Enhancing synchronous interactions in telecollaboration for second language learning

This project will develop the L2L system, a web-based conversation visualisation system for second language learners to have continued self-reflection. The project will also pilot its deployment in multiple EU universities.

Models and algorithms for energy efficient scheduling

This project will develop capabilities in the area of energy efficient scheduling with a view to reducing energy consumption by optimising the processes within industrial settings.

Safe and trustworthy AI in medical devices

This project looks to develop a regulatory-friendly framework to enable safety-critical systems, specifically medical devices, to be able to utilise the benefits of using adaptive AI algorithms in a safe and regulated way.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic