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​€1.5m investment in Insight UCC by United Technologies will advance research in smart service delivery and supply chain management in Cork


Connecticut-based United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) today announced an investment of €500,000 in cash and €1M in in-kind contribution in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Cork (UCC).

The research conducted at the Insight Centre as a result of this investment will focus on four key areas: artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning, human machine interaction, and optimisation in collaboration with United Technologies Research Center staff.

UTRC is the research organisation and innovation engine of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which provides high technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries and employs approximately 200,000 worldwide. UTRC researches and develops game-changing technologies, processes and services in areas such as, aircraft engines and systems and buildings technology.

Having worked with researchers in Cork since 2010, UTRC’s latest investment represents the company’s largest in Ireland and the most valuable Targeted Project in Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres programme to date.

UTRC’s €500k cash commitment will be matched by the Irish government through the SFI Research Centre’s programme.

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is the largest of 12 SFI Research Centres, and comprises 400 scientists working across a range of data fields.

Insight Director Professor Barry O’Sullivan said, “Smart Enterprise is an area of strategic importance for the Insight Centre. With the investment that UTRC has announced today, researchers in Cork will be able to build on a decade of world-class artificial intelligence research. Our work here in Insight will play a key role in the delivery of smart services and supply chain management across a number of sectors.”

He continued, “Here is a company that places great value on investing in research collaboration and building up research capital, especially human capital. This investment will allow us to employ more researchers at a higher level to develop technologies that are in global demand. This is a serious vote of confidence in the Irish research community and demonstrates that the SFI strategy - to consolidate and support Irish research in targeted fields – is working. We are attracting investment of the highest calibre, moving Irish-based research up the value chain.”

Dr. David Parekh, Corporate Vice President, Research, and Director, UTRC, said, “There is great value attached to university collaborations that promote research and curriculum development in our technology areas. By establishing relationships with the world’s foremost engineering schools, such as UCC, we are accelerating developments within our technology portfolio and positioning ourselves to recruit the next generation of innovators who are already committed to topics of interest to UTC.”

Welcoming the announcement, Director of Programmes of Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Darrin Morrissey said: “Industry-academic research collaborations, such as this new partnership between UTRC and the Insight SFI Research Centre, further enhance Ireland’s reputation for research excellence while also delivering economic and social impact. This UTRC-Insight collaboration highlights the attractive research opportunities offered by the SFI Research Centres to industry partners, both on a national and international level. This announcement builds on the investment in research in the area of data analytics undertaken by Science Foundation Ireland over the past decade that have the potential to deliver real value in the growing area of artificial intelligence.”

On behalf of UCC, Anita Maguire Vice President for Research and Innovation said “we very much welcome this partnership between UCC and UTRC. Our research portfolio is enriched by engagement with innovative companies such as UTRC, especially as UTRC has an active R&D team in the region. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this research both in terms of knowledge generation but also in relation to inspiring early career researchers to aim high.”

The UTRC investment will be announced today at an event at University College Cork