New Shared Island collaboration to boost innovation in Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology

06 July 2021

The ADAPT Centre at DCU and BT Ireland Innovation Centre at Ulster University sign a new partnership agreement that aims to support research mobility and innovation.

6th July 2021: The ADAPT Centre at Dublin City University (DCU) and the BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) at Ulster University recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster future research and development collaboration in the broad areas of Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology.

The new partnership will focus on three main areas: exchange programmes for staff and students; joint research projects; and collaborative seminars and conferences to encourage information exchange.  Both the ADAPT Centre and BTIIC have demonstrated track records in these areas.  For example, since 2015 the ADAPT Centre has had over 400 research publications from its international collaborations with over 50 research institutions across 50 countries.  Likewise, BTIIC’s research and innovation programme, with a strong focus on AI and IoT, has yielded exciting technical outputs that underpin significant job creation by BT in Northern Ireland.

The embedding of visiting research students and staff, co-authoring of conference and journal papers and the opportunity to take part in shared tasks will help foster regional and national discussions that will have a direct impact on innovations. This partnership will centre on a number of key research areas including AI, intelligent systems, image, video and voice processing, visual computing, machine learning, and privacy and security.


Speaking about the collaboration, Professor Andy Way, Deputy Director of ADAPT, said,

“The ADAPT Centre has been proactively developing its research footprint across the Republic of Ireland for more than a decade and we are delighted to join with the BT Ireland Innovation Centre at Ulster University to develop a formal approach to research and innovation across the island of Ireland. We have a long track record of engagement with Ulster University but today’s signing signals a new strategic approach to our engagement in light of the ‘Shared Island Fund’ initiative announced by the Irish Government this week.”

The Irish Government committed a total of €500m in capital funding over the next five years, to invest in a more connected, more sustainable and more prosperous island. The new MoU between ADAPT and BTIIC aims to support north-south, east-west academic research mobility, innovation, and skills and talent development which will enhance the profile and international impact of research across the island of Ireland.


Professor Bryan Scotney, Professor of Informatics, School of Computing, Ulster University, said,

“At BTIIC we are translating innovative research into real world solutions for industry. We are delighted to formalise our collaboration with the ADAPT centre as we work together to share knowledge and expertise in the exciting areas of Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology. It is an important time to reflect on our unique relationship, and to consider what future opportunities and challenges there are for scientific research and development on the island of Ireland.”

Speaking about the announcement the President of DCU, Professor Daire Keogh said, 
“This agreement adds another strand to DCU’s partnership with Ulster University across a number of projects, including the development of the Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor. Through cooperative actions like these, universities are demonstrating their pivotal role in support of the Shared Island initiative, and their potential to address strategic cross-border challenges.”