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€49 million investment to harness the power of data analytics, machine learning and AI
€49 million investment to harness the power of data analytics, machine learning and AI
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€49 million investment to harness the power of data analytics, machine learning and AI

Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced a Government investment of €49 million through Science Foundation Ireland in the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics.

This Government investment will secure a further €100 million from industry and other international sources, such as the European Union, over the next six years to further harness the power of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Through this new investment, Insight will continue its world-class research via a set of three demonstrator projects under the themes: Augmented Human, Smart Enterprise and Sustainable Societies.

In addition, it will significantly expand its Education and Outreach Programme, including a new Citizen Science initiative.

Insight was established in 2013 and is hosted at four higher education institutions: Dublin City University, National University Ireland Galway, University College Cork and University College Dublin and works in partnership with Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, Tyndall National Institute and University Limerick.

Insight collaborates with over 80 industry partners, including Abtran, Acquis BI, Boston Scientific, Curtiss-Wright, Eagle Alpha, Fujitsu, GAA and Dublin GAA to name a few. Insight’s research spans Health and Human Performance, Enterprise and Services, Smart Communities and Internet of Things, Sustainability and Operations.

The centre’s new CEO, Professor Noel O’Connor, believes that the State’s continued investment in Ireland’s largest data research institute is a major boost for Irish research and will continue to pay dividends for the Irish economy.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved since 2013.

The establishment of Insight has been a major success story for the Irish economy, and the figures prove it,” says Professor O’Connor.

“We have very ambitious plans for our next phase. We have globally competitive talent working at the frontier of research in artificial intelligence, smart cities and the augmented human, and have positioned ourselves right at the heart of innovation leadership.”

Minister Humphreys welcomed the announcement, saying:

“I am delighted to announce this investment in the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, whose research and outputs are helping to future-proof our economy by enabling us to lead in the area of data analytics, thus creating jobs, wealth and businesses for Ireland. Insight’s research is aligned with the Government’s National AI Strategy, which will shortly be published, and will help ensure we have the talent to compete, preparing today for the jobs of tomorrow, and the society we want to have in the future.”

Also welcoming the announcement, Minister Halligan said:

“As one of Europe’s largest data analytics research organisations, the Insight SFI Research Centre has over 450 researchers and 89 industry partners. I am delighted to welcome this investment announcement, as part of the Government’s commitment to develop a highly skilled and innovative workforce.”

Commenting on the announcement, Science Foundation Ireland’s Director General and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson said:

“Insight’s research is equipping indigenous Irish companies to harness the power of data analytics, machine learning and AI to become more competitive and open new markets.

The SFI Research Centres continue to attract and retain multinational organisations who want to conduct high value research in Ireland.

Centres like Insight are seeding the next generation of world class innovators in our universities.”

Insight was established in 2013 through an initial SFI investment of €43 million and has delivered an economic impact of €593m to the Irish economy.

For every €1 of state investment, €5.54 is returned to the economy This funding was supplemented by €63 million from EU sources and industry with every €1 of SFI funding, securing another €1.46 in additional investment.

During this period Insight has produced over 2,000 publications, trained 184 postdoctoral graduates and established 11 spin out companies and with this new funding will continue to develop these outputs.

Pictured Professor Noel O'Connor, CEO of the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics