CS researchers partner in three successful Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund projects

UCD CS researchers are partners in three research projects which have secured funding under the third round of the highly competitive Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and administered by Enterprise Ireland. 

This year 62 applications were received and 29 projects secured €95m across Ireland in life sciences, medical devices, ICT, artificial intelligence, manufacturing and environmental sustainability.  All projects involve collaborations between SMEs or multi-national corporations and researchers in higher education. The eligible projects went through a rigorous and competitive evaluation process involving screening and interview by panels of international experts, who assessed the quality of the disruptive technology, the excellence of the overall approach, the economic impact and sustainability and the strength of the collaboration. The €500m DTIF was set up in 2018 as part of the National Development Plan 2018-2027 to drive collaboration between Ireland’s world-class research base and industry and to help enterprises to develop and deploy disruptive and innovative technologies on a commercial basis. The DTIF has awarded €235 million to date.  Applications for funding must demonstrate “game-changing” technologies that would alter markets, the way business operates, or create new products or business models.

UCD CS researchers are partners on the iPATH-CAN, CAMEO and TRANSPIRE projects. 

iPATH-CAN - Harnessing artificial intelligence to develop a tool to identify breast and prostate cancer patients with early stage disease

In the Health and Wellbeing area, iPATH-CAN will receive €3 million over 3 years, harnessing artificial intelligence to develop a tool to identify breast and prostate cancer patients with early-stage disease. The project is developing novel AI-based diagnostic tests that can risk assess outcomes for patients, aiming to avoid unnecessary treatments for patients that are of low risk of aggressive disease. The members of this project consortium are; Professor William Gallagher, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, working with Dr Catherine Mooney and her team in the UCD School of Computer Science; lead partner Deciphex Ltd. and OncoMark Ltd., a diagnostics company headquartered at NovaUCD.

Professor Gallagher said, "This DTIF award builds on a substantial foundation of translational cancer research over many years in the breast and prostate cancer areas within UCD, led by Professor Bill Watson and our research group, along with more recent work in the area of machine learning by Dr Catherine Mooney and her team. The iPATH-CAN programme provides a unique opportunity to combine our strengths with those of two exciting companies in the molecular diagnostics and artificial intelligence arenas, namely Deciphex and OncoMark. The key focus of iPATH-CAN is to provide a new paradigm for management of early-stage breast and prostate cancer patients whereby we bring together key imaging, molecular and clinical data to make better and more accurate clinical decisions.”

Sentinel 2 Image of Fingal, Co.Dublin [Credit: ESA]

CAMEO (Creating an Architecture for Manipulating Earth Observation data)

Building on UCD’s growing space-related research and innovation activities through the UCD Centre for Space Research, CAMEO will receive €6.4 million over 3 years. The project aims to unlock the potential of Earth Observation (EO) data for non-specialist users by creating a new architecture with the aim of developing a sustainable internationally trading EO services sector in Ireland. CAMEO will harness expertise from a number of key staff within the UCD School of Computer Science: Professor Gregory O’Hare; Assoc. Prof. Michela Bertolotto; Asst. Prof. Gavin McArdle ; Assoc. Prof. Rem Collier; and Dr. Michael O’Grady , a Senior Research Fellow. The members of this project consortium, led by UCD, include Vertice Integration Services Ltd T/A Vertice Cloud; BCC Risk Advisory Ltd. T/A Edgescan; The Icon Group Ltd; Treemetrics Ltd; TechWorks Marine Ltd; EMC Information Systems International and Oracle Corporation Ltd.

Professor O’Hare said, “The CAMEO project seeks to democratise access to, and effective usage of, an ever increasing corpus of Earth Observation data with the aim of developing a sustainable internationally trading Earth Observation services sector in Ireland. CAMEO will provide a new and easy to use means of accessing international EO/UAV/Land-based sensor data and mechanisms for combining this with national climate, agriculture, and marine databases to unlock real, tangible potential for Irish industry, the public sector, and researchers, and to establish Ireland as an international leader in the use of EO data for economic and societal benefit."


This €3 million project is looking to create an AI-based software platform to radically change the manufacturing process by employing sensor technology and machine learning to predict the human sensory quality attributes of food products for great taste, health benefits and minimal waste while optimising the production process at factory level; Dr. Ricardo Simon Carbajo (CeADAR, UCD), Dawn Farm Foods Ltd (lead) and Creme Software Ltd.

TRANSPIRE - using NLP, AI and Machine Learning to demystify laws and regulations

UCD CS researchers are members of the Transpire project consortium, funded under the second round of the DTIF in 2020, receiving €3 million over three years, to create a platform to combine human expertise with artificial intelligence to demystify laws and regulations making it easier to do business while protecting consumers. The research combines elements of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning and Interpretable/Explainable Artificial Intelligence. Members include Dr David Lillis, UCD School of Computer Science and CeADAR, the UCD Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research, with lead partner Corlytics and Version 1.

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Published Apr 29th 2021