Taoiseach opens ArcLabs: WIT’s Research & Innovation Centre where the TSSG is located

Ireland’s prime minister, An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, came to our building in Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) new West Campus in Carriganore, Co. Waterford on Monday 16th Oct to officially open it.
ArcLabs, WIT’s Research & Innovation Centre, houses two sets of complementary activity:

TSSG (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group): a research centre comprising basic research (10 faculty and postdocs, 15 students), applied research (30 researchers) and pre-product development (50 researchers and developers) looking to explore the synergies between these approaches (there are a further 10 staff in support roles);

  • The WIT Innovation Centre comprising entrepreneurship programmes such as the SEEPP and managing incubation space in the building for spin-out and spin-in companies.
  • Dr. Willie Donnelly, Director and founder of the TSSG and Head of Research in WIT, welcomed this event, “This opening represents the recognition of over 10 years’ work in the TSSG in building a critical mass of basic research, applied research, and pre-product development in the area of communications software and telecommunications management.”

    Mícheál Ó Foghlú, Research Director and co-founder of the TSSG and Director of the Irish IPv6 Centre, also welcomed the Taoiseach’s visit, “The Research Division in the TSSG has secured both HEA funding, that helped build this building, and SFI funding thus establishing itself at the forefront of basic research in ICT in Ireland; the TSSG also has the best record of any institution in Ireland, commercial or academic, with respect to winning EU FP6 IST funding. It is good that we now have a permanent home in the ArcLabs in WIT’s West Campus in Carriganore.”

    Barry Downes, Commercial Director of the TSSG and Director of the The Centre for Converged IP Communications Services (3CS) also welcomed the opening, “The TSSG, and 3CS, have established themselves at the heart of the regional economy in the South East with a number of successful spin-out and spin-in companies to date, and a further set of new company launches planned in 2007. We work closely with Enterprise Ireland to ensure that our research activity is linked creatively to potential commercial exploitation through creation of new companies, and through licensing IPR to other companies.”
    Eamonn de Leastar, co-founder of the TSSG, commented that “We have grown from a small group of faculty and students located in an office with no windows on WIT’s main campus to being vibrant 115-strong mix of computer scientists, engineers, product managers and software developers sharing a common vision of the challenges facing the new converged communications ecosystem where telecommunications, the Internet, home entertainment and other media all converge to use the Internet’s building blocks of TCP/IP.
    This is a huge opportunity for software development, as it creates a new platform for a new generation of services based on the expanded area – communications software is no longer about desktop PCs but is now also about smart phones and home cinema systems!”

    The TSSG now has over 30 active projects running with 115 staff and students spread over basic research, applied research and pre-product development. The TSSG has a history of a further 30 completed funded projects. The TSSG has secured a total of over EUR 25 Million in its 10 year history from 1996-2006. The TSSG receives no support other than these competitive research funded projects, with all its staff being fully funded from these projects. The funding agencies who have helped the TSSG in this remarkable success story include the HEA, the SFI, Enterprise Ireland, the EU Commission, and the Irish Council of Directors.