22.4 million funding for Lero


30 January 2012

Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre based at the University of Limerick (UL), has been awarded a total of €22.4 million in funding to continue its work.

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, announced Government funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) of €16 million, with a further  €6.4million coming from for industry. The SFI funding is second-term funding provided through its Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology Programme.

Comprising a team of 170 researchers and PhD students, Lero’s research outputs have numerous applications for industry and society globally, in areas such as urban traffic control, corporate compliance systems, medical devices, financial services, ICT, mobile communications and space missions.

"This renewal SFI funding to Lero is in recognition of their research excellence and considerable impacts already delivered," said Minister Sherlock. "Crucially, it will also enable the Lero team to further deepen the level of collaboration with industry and provide for increased commercialisation opportunities for Ireland."

Minister Sherlock also praised Lero on its inclusivity, with the Centre drawing upon the software expertise of UL, UCD, Trinity College Dublin, DCU, NUI Galway and Dundalk Institute of Technology.

"The progressive approach already demonstrated by Lero is just what the country needs," said Minister Sherlock. "This SFI award, allied to the very significant industry involvement and contribution, now affords Lero the opportunity to further our economic rehabilitation – both regionally and nationally."

The industry contribution will be provided by a range of companies collaborating with the research centre, which includes IBM Ireland, Intel, Information Mosaic, JBA Consulting, QAD Ireland, Kugler Maag CIE, Almir Business, Movidius, Lumension Security Ireland, Vitalograph, Storm Technology and Fineos.

Founded in 2005, Lero has established strategic research partnerships with over 70 multinational and indigenous companies, with research contracts having been signed with partners such as the European Space Agency and United Technologies Research Centre in Cork.

"Lero has ambitious plans to break new ground, intensify its collaboration with industry and generate an increase in commercial potential over the next five years," said Professor Mike Hinchey, director, Lero. "Today’s investment by Government and industry will serve to strategically support the realisation of those plans."

"Evolving Critical Systems – systems that change over time and where failure to operate correctly has serious negative consequences – are at the heart of Lero’s mission," said Professor Fionn Murtagh, director of Information, Communications and Emergent Technologies, SFI. "The Centre’s work in a diverse range of sectors has helped to place Irish software engineering research on the world map."

"We have a long-term relationship with Lero," said Bill Kearney, director of Software Lab Ireland, IBM Software Lab Ireland. "We envisage future collaborative research with Lero in the areas of security, model-driven software development, cloud computing and large-scale software development. IBM has a long-running tradition of research collaboration with our colleagues in academia in Ireland. The goal of our collaborative initiative is to continue strong partnerships with the university ecosystem and ensure open innovation as a means to respond to our changing world."


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