UCD and IBM joining forces to push Irish smart cities research

11 Nov 2015

Pictured at the launch were Prof Andrew J Deeks, President, UCD; Dr Eleni Pratsini, Director, IBM Research-Ireland and Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation. Image via Nick Bradshaw

University College Dublin (UCD) and IBM have struck a deal that will see the pair collaborate on developing the latest technologies for future sustainable smart cities.

Based at UCD’s O’Brien Centre for Science, the collaborative research project will be aiming to apply cognitive computing technologies to augment human decision making.

To do this, UCD’s Belfield campus in south Dublin will be turned into a ‘mini-city’ where the researchers will develop and evaluate cognitive computing applications, which should provide a deeper understanding and optimisation of a city infrastructure as a whole.

Current research into the potential of smart cities, particularly climate-smart cities, shows that it’s a no-brainer for future city developers with estimated savings of $17trn by 2050.

Among the technologies expected to be developed at the UCD and IBM lab will be in the fields of connected cars, integrating mobile applications, energy management and monitoring the results to make public transport safer and more efficient.

Making use of the data

All of which will potentially benefit wider societal issues, including healthcare management and personalised care, smarter energy and transportation.

With regard to personalised care and healthcare management, IBM scientists will aim to enable better outcomes through end-to-end collaboration in personalised care planning and delivery through the application of cognitive computing technologies.

Meanwhile, greater internet of things (IoT) will be expanded through the campus as a result of the joint research. A pilot project on smarter buildings, fusing cognitive computing with IoT technologies, will look at improving energy efficiencies. This will be integrated with the college’s environmental, water and transportation at the campus.

One of those involved in the project will be Dr Eleni Pratsini, Director of IBM Research Ireland, who spoke to Siliconrepublic.com last month about the need to capitalise on the amount of data on cities being produced on a daily basis.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic