On 25th February 2013, the Irish government announced the largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland: €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres (and an additional €100m co-investment by industry partners). The Digital Repository of Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy is a partner in the largest of these centres, the SFI-funded Insight Research Centre.
"We are very pleased to be a partner in this exciting new mega research centre," said Dr. Sandra Collins, Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland. "Insight brings together the leading national ‘Big Data’ research centres, enabling a unique offering of end-to-end, holistic approaches to data, which will firmly place Ireland on the international stage in this global research priority area. DRI’s participation is in the area of content discovery for archives of cultural and social data - AV, sound, text and images that form part of our national identity”.
Big Data is much like it sounds - massive data sets from all aspects of our information society. Big data poses a challenge to society because its sheer size means that it cannot generally be processed with common software tools. Examples include everything from the world's Twitter stream (well over 200 million tweets per day) to the Large Hadron Collider, which has 150 million sensors delivering data 40 million times per second, resulting in a yearly data output that would fit on 20 kilometres of CDs piled into the sky. But at the same time that it poses a challenge to technologists, it also provides a wealth of possibilities: properly collected, filtered, preserved and analysed, it is a rich resource for understanding and improving the way our world works. (See Big Data Loses its Shackles).
BASIC FACTS (SFI)
INSIGHT: Ireland’s Big Data and Analytics Research Centre
Lead Principal Investigators:
· Dr Brian Caulfield, TRIL Centre Director, UCD
· Professor Padraig Cunningham, Professor (Director Clique), UCD
· Professor Stefan Decker, Professor for Digital Enterprise, Director of DERI, NUIG
· Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Professor (Chair of Constraint Programming) and Director of 4C, UCC
· Professor Alan Smeaton, Professor of Computing, DCU
· Professor Barry Smyth, DIGITAL Chair of Computer Science / CLARITY Director, UCD
Partner Institutions include: UCD, UCC, NUIG, DCU, BDI (DCU), CSO Cork, National Library of Ireland, Digital Repository of Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy.
Number of Industry Partners: 45
Research Summary: The commoditization of connectivity and content through the Internet has highlighted how always-on data services can transform almost every aspect of our lives. As we enter the age of “Big Data”, we will witness an unprecedented shift in the quantity and quality of information from all aspects of our lives. This will provide an unlimited source of raw material for a new generation of transformative knowledge-based industries, from new visions of healthcare to novel location-based and discovery based services. The ability to mine insights from these data is a new basis for sustained advantage in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. INSIGHT integrates four world-class research centres to position Ireland at the heart of data analytics research and develop a scalable and sustainable eco-system for education, investment, and industry in this crucial technology sector. INSIGHT will develop breakthrough data analytics technologies to deal with the volume, variety and velocity challenges of Big Data helping individuals, communities, organisations and societies to make better decisions: better decisions about where we might live; better decisions about the food we eat and the exercise we should take; better decisions by our governments when it comes to investing in education, energy, food, healthcare and infrastructure. Funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Science Foundation Ireland.
More information: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Press Release