Feb 2009 Clique Strategic Research Cluster funded: €3.56 million

I am one of the six principal investigators for Clique which was announced by the Irish Tánaiste as an Science Foundation Ireland funded (SFI) Strategic Research Cluster. Our industry partners, in this joint initiative are IBM, Idiro Technologies and Norkom Technologies. Our academic partners are UCD and DERI in Galway. Clique runs from 2009 - 2013 and has a focus on the analysis and visualisation of large graphs and networks, specifically social and biological networks. This is a very exciting development for my research as it will allow me to hire a number of postdocs and postgraduates but more importantly to work in a research eco-system with domain experts, industry partners, rich data sources and collaborators interested in various aspects of the end-to-end problems in visual analytics.

Many of the Clique team will be based in the UCD CASL

While these companies are providing matching funding and resources the SFI is providing €3.56 million over the course of 5 years. In total with industry and SFI funding the program has funding in excess of €5 million. The academic principal investigators involved are, Prof. Pádraig Cunningham, Prof. Denis Shields, Prof. Brendan Murphy, Dr. Aaron Quigley, Dr. Neil Hurley and Dr. Conor Hayes. The funding will be used to hire postdoctoral researchers and pay postgraduate scholarships.

The development of this research cluster has been a long time in the making. I've been an IBM visiting scientist since 2005 and others have been collaborating with Idiro and Norkom over a number of years. This cluster was first proposed over 1 year ago when 40 similar clusters were proposed to the SFI. The process to select these five from the forty has included a preliminary expression of interest (then review), full detailed proposal (then reviews), site visit (international panel), SFI review and board review and final the official announcement by the government! It's a very rigourous process aimed to ensure the best research is funded, the value for the Irish tax payer is strong and the potential for industry is high.

I look forward to blogging about new team members, new research ideas, papers, outputs and commercilisation in the years to come!

[ Read SFI News Release ]

"SFI Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs) will help link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies, and grow partnerships with industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy.

The SRC programme has been designed to facilitate the clustering of outstanding researchers to carry out joint research activities in areas of strategic importance to Ireland (in ICT and/or BioTech sectors), while also giving the time and resources to attract and cultivate strong industry partnerships that can inform and enhance their research programmes."

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