Want to pinpoint the nucleus of all that is current and exciting in Ireland’s telecommunications research? That place is Ireland’s national research centre for Future Networks and Communications, CONNECT at Trinity College, Dublin.
Based on Westland Row, the red brick building in which CONNECT is housed already has form when it comes to innovation: In 1888 John Boyd Dunlop of Dunlop Tyres patented the pneumatic tyre here. Today, CONNECT are exploring Dublin’s considerable potential as a testbed for the Internet of Things; the biggest tech revolution of the modern age, which will see anything that can be connected become connected, from cars to cities.
What CONNECT does has the potential to impact on all of us. As well as the intellectual and academic importance of the research done here, its practical application is just as relevant. According to CONNECT’s Andrew O’Connell, there is a strong culture here of commercialising the research, taking it from the lab and turning it into a commercially viable product or service. “Many CONNECT researchers have already generated spin out companies,” he says, “creating new employment opportunities in the process.”
Over 150 researchers are involved in CONNECT’s extended research team, with many working across other campuses around the country, including Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology and University College Dublin. As it wins fresh funding for new projects, that number of researchers is set to increase further still. CONNECT, jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry, also works with a number of large companies such as Intel, Google and Rivada Networks.
Over the last year, CONNECT has had a number of significant funding successes, most recently an EU funding win of €6M, with which CONNECT will lead a major new postdoctoral programme, EDGE, with two other SFI research centres led out of Trinity – ADAPT and AMBER. Significantly, CONNECT also values the creative arts, and has several artists working on different projects, exploring how arts and engineering intersect – Connect Director Prof. Linda Doyle, a key player in the Smart Dublin initiative, currently holds the title of ‘Professor of Engineering and Arts’. She’ll be speaking at the forthcoming Inspirefest promoting diversity and inclusion in science, technology engineering and maths – it all takes place at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from 30 June – 2 July 2016.
Technology moves fast and CONNECT, at barely one-years-old, is accelerating at speed with a success rate that can only suggest an even brighter and more brilliant future.
Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.
There is unfortunately no blueprint for happiness, but a maxim to think about is ‘create, don’t consume’. Fighting Words is where Dublin’s children and young teens can learn to express themselves, but also get to grips with the tools that make that expression possible. Numerous studies have indicated that it’s our experiences that give us the most satisfaction and not the things we accumulate. That’s not always easy to remember when faced with the new car purchase that will change our lives, or the dress that makes you look like a better, slimmer version of ourselves but in our hearts we know it’s true.
I’ve been running the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour for the past 20 years, bringing people around the city, showing them the sites of the Easter Rising. It’s not just for tourists, either. Sometimes these days you’ll get 95% Irish people on the tour. It’s great that we take a real interest in our own history, especially in this centenary year.
I do feel like I have a responsibility to show the good and bad of Dublin; it’s a great city, and a safe city, and I like bringing people around and saying ‘This is where it’s really at…’. Places like Moore Street, that might
Let's be honest; the internet can be mildly intimidating (if not positively terrifying) at the best of times. What to do, then, if you're of a generation unacquainted with the World Wide Web? Recent statistics suggest that just over 50% of people aged over 60 in Ireland have never used the internet. The problem, ultimately, is that seniors can feel a type of 'digital isolation'. The solution may lie in good old-fashioned human interaction: people together, in a room, exchanging knowledge. Call it a digital dig out.