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Posted 02 September

UCD scientists and Weedle awarded €200,000 to define future of search and connect technology

Weedle and UCD scientists have been awarded an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Award of €200,000 to combine their expertise to enhance the company’s online Search and ConnectTM technology platform.

With users in over 60 countries after just six months,, the Irish based social media company, is fast establishing its online presence as The World’s Trusted Network of People with SkillsTM.

It is a free web service where people can showcase their skills as part of a trusted network. The unique advantage of the Weedle platform is that it combines the trusted connections of online social networking with a search for specific skills.

“The UCD scientists based at CLARITY are leading experts in web search and information discovery systems which help distil vast quantities of online information into timely and accurate search results for users,” says Weedle co-founder and CEO, Iain Mac Donald.

“Through this R&D partnership we aim to improve the relevance and quality of Weedle’s search results generated for our users. Ultimately this will lead to higher user satisfaction and enable Weedle to increase its pace of growth in countries around the world.”

According to Professor Barry Smyth, Director of CLARITY, the Weedle platform is more than simply a way of searching for someone with a particular set of skills.

“Weedle leverages all the trusted connections of online social networking. Using Weedle you can instantly find someone with very specific skills who also shares a connection with you – perhaps they went to the same school or university, share your friends or acquaintances, or have some common interests,” he says.

“People like to do business with people they know or who share other connections with them. This is the key to the success of the Weedle technology platform.”

“This R&D work is all about enhancing the technology platform to improve the user experience,” say Dr Kevin McCarthy and Dr Michael O’Mahony, the UCD scientists based at CLARITY who are leading the project.

“With the best search and discovery system technology, we can help Weedle to expand its user base and control a major share of the global online market.”

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Initiative brings together private enterprises and third-level researchers to work on specific R&D projects.

“This partnership between Weedle and UCD scientists at CLARITY promises to deliver strong R&D results for a new Irish based technology company with global market reach,” says Dr Martin Lyes, Research and Innovation Manager, Enterprise Ireland.


About Weedle

The World’s Trusted Network of People with SkillsTM. Founded in 2009, Weedle is a social utility that helps people with skills to connect with people who need those skills, within a trusted environment.

Anyone, anywhere can sign up for Weedle, connect with the people they know and leverage these trusted connections to get found by people who need their skills or to find people who have the skills they need.

Skill types of all descriptions are represented and Weedle has users in over 60 countries around the world.

Weedle’s Search and ConnectTM technology platform uses a combination of social media and semantic web technologies. Weedle is a privately-held company and is headquatered in Dublin, Ireland with offices in Palo Alto, California.



CLARITY is a multi-disciplinary research centre based at University College Dublin. It is a partnership between University College Dublin, Dublin City University and Tyndall Institute at University College Cork, funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

It reflects an ambitious vision to spearhead the evolution of the new science that is emerging at the intersection between two important research areas - Adaptive Sensing and Information Discovery.

CLARITY aims to lead the development of innovative new technologies of critical importance to Irish industry in areas such as personal health, digital media and the environment, which will impact positively on the quality of life of people.


Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Initiative

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Initiative offers financial support to companies who engage in collaborative research projects with Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology.  Enterprise Ireland provides grants of up to 80% towards eligible costs of research projects.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD scientists and Weedle awarded €200,000 to define future of search and connect technology
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