New centre will train students in digitally enhanced reality

€17m fund for SFI Centres for Research Training



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7 March 2019 | 0

A new centre has been established for research training in digitally enhanced reality with a €17 million fund.

A partnership between Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), Dublin City University (DCU), University College Dublin (UCD) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), will lead the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Research Training in Digitally-Enhanced Reality, D-REAL.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD have announced an investment of over €100 million in six new SFI Centres for Research Training

D-REAL is supported by two SFI Research Centres, the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and will be one of six new research training centres with a total investment of €100 million. The announcement was made by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD.




“D-REAL is an innovative, industry partnered, research training programme that equips PhD students with deep ICT knowledge and skills across Digital Platform Technology, Content and Media Technology and their application in industry sectors,” said Professor Vinny Wade, director, ADAPT Centre and Co-PI, D-REAL. “D-REAL postgraduate students will make research breakthroughs in areas such as multimodal interaction, multimodal digital assistants, multilingual speech processing, real-time multilingual translation and interaction, machine intelligence for video analytics and multimodal personalisation and agency. The ADAPT Centre is a world leader in pushing the boundaries of digital media technologies and looks forward to D-REAL funded postgraduates working in the ADAPT laboratories and academic teams.”

D-REAL is open for recruitment, and with postgraduate students across the country encouraged to send expressions of interest to for the programme.

The €13.3 million funding awarded for D-REAL from SFI will be supplemented by industry partnerships. 

The 120 students trained in D-REAL, said the launch announcement, will extend the boundaries of existing disciplines and result in new inter- and cross-disciplinary discoveries that will make a significant scientific impact and further enhance Ireland’s reputation for research excellence. The D-REAL student experience will be focused on producing a talent pool of academically outstanding future research leaders with the skills and knowledge required to address the future challenges of an ever-changing work environment.

D-REAL PhD students will develop skills for next generation human-centric media technology, including machine intelligence-based sensing and understanding of digital content and information, its transformation and personalisation, its multimodal interaction and delivery via speech, text, video, image and VR/AR, and its impactful application in multiple industry and societal settings.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:“In line the Government’s new Future Jobs initiative, which we will launch in the coming days, the programme will allow students to develop and learn about critical technologies for the future.This is all part of our wider effort to ensure that we are preparing now for tomorrow’s economy.”

The six new SFI Centres for Research Training programme is expected to train 700 postgraduate students in areas of nationally and internationally identified future skills needs of digital, data and ICT.

TechCentral Reporters

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