IBM and UCD scientists collaborate to drive research into smart cities

  • Project will develop computing applications in a controlled ‘mini-city’ environment 
  • A pilot scheme on smarter buildings will optimise cost savings and environmental benefits at UCD

Posted 12 November, 2015

IBM and UCD have set up a programme that will enable their scientists to collaborate on researching and developing new technologies for the next generation of smart and sustainable cities.

The collaborative research programme, based at the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science, will focus on applying cognitive computing technologies to enhance human decision-making.

The project aims to deliver the next level of advanced collaboration between people and computers.

To achieve the programme’s goals, researchers will develop and evaluate cognitive computing applications in the dedicated and controlled ‘mini-city’ environment of UCD’s Belfield campus. This should provide a deeper understanding and optimisation of a city infrastructure as a whole.

For example, researchers will apply prediction and optimisation technologies to study the live dynamics of connected cars, integrating mobile applications and energy management.

They will then monitor the results in an attempt to transform the planning and economic management of sustainable transportation.

Pictured above are Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin, Dr Eleni Pratsini, Director of IBM Research-Ireland and Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD at the launch of the IBM and UCD collaborative research programme on smarter cities technology at the O'Brien Centre for Science

The application of the research and development will have a global impact across a wide-range of disciplines, including agriculture, connected cars, healthcare management and personalised care, smarter energy and transportation.

“This is an opportunity to share our cognitive research expertise, deep analytics capabilities, and open standards to help transform the systems, operations and service delivery in UCD and across the globe,” said Dr Eleni Pratsini, Director IBM Research-Ireland.

“UCD's track record, combined with its ongoing innovative approach to education and new business creation, makes it an ideal location for our research collaboration.”

A pilot project on smarter buildings, fusing cognitive computing with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, will employ sustainable energy design and operation approaches to evaluate and improve energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

This will be integrated with innovative environmental, water and transportation solutions on the campus to optimise cost savings and environmental benefits at UCD.

“Through our research collaboratory with IBM, we aim to develop and evaluate technologies here at UCD that will expand our capabilities to deliver innovative IoT solutions to Ireland and around the world,” said Professor Andrew J. Deeks, UCD President.

IBM scientists will also enhance UCD’s world-leading research capability to study and improve social and healthcare planning and delivery. The goal is to enable better outcomes through end-to-end collaboration in personalised care planning and delivery through the application of cognitive computing technologies.

These cognitive technologies are intended to enhance collaborative decision-making between medical experts and end users, in more natural ways, by learning through interaction and overcoming limitations posed by big data in care management.

“UCD’s research has already helped us significantly improve the way we educate, develop and understand our society in Ireland, and this latest collaboration with IBM opens up a whole world of new possibilities,” said Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD.

By: Jamie Deasy, digital journalist, UCD University Relations