New Georgia Tech research institute in Ireland to focus on medical
devices and RFID
26 March 2006
Atlanta, USA. The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the applied
research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology, will establish a
research enterprise in Athlone, Ireland to focus on research and development
needs of industry.
GTRI Ireland will be GTRI's first applied research facility outside the
United States. Over the next five years, the Irish operation plans to build
up a portfolio of research programs and collaborations with industry valued
in excess of $24 million, and at full operation, it will employ 50 highly
GTRI, which conducts nearly $140 million in research and development each
year for industry, government and academic institutions across the world,
will receive support from IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for industrial
development and overseas investment in Ireland. The new institute will focus
on four technology areas that mirror Ireland's research strengths — digital
media, radio frequency identification (RFID), biotechnology and energy.
"Ireland is increasingly known as a world leader in innovation and for
embracing technology. As Georgia Tech expands its global horizons, we seek
partners who share our values and goals," said Georgia Tech President Wayne
Clough. "Thus, we are especially pleased to celebrate the formation of this
forward-looking collaboration with Ireland and our Georgia Tech Research
Institute. We are grateful to the government and civic leaders of Ireland
who worked on this exciting initiative with us."
The institute will work closely with Irish corporations and universities,
the Georgia Tech research community and U.S. companies to provide companies
on both sides of the Atlantic with industry-focused research and development
that bridge the gap between academic discovery and commercial success.
Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheal Martin
TD, in announcing this joint initiative at a press event in Athlone, said,
"Applied research institutes specialize in translational research — the
integration of technologies to prove feasibility — where ideas can be proven
to have commercial potential. GTRI Ireland will provide this capability and
will work across multiple disciplines and in partnership with industry to
bring new technological solutions to address the industry and market needs
of companies in Ireland."
Dr. Stephen E. Cross, Georgia Tech vice president and GTRI director
noted, "GTRI Ireland is an integral part of GTRI's plan to develop
international operations and build long-term relationships with industrial
partners by providing innovative solutions through customer-focused R&D.
This initiative directly supports Georgia Tech's vision to define the
technological university of the 21st Century."
GTRI Ireland will focus on several research areas of particular strength
IPTV: The institute's digital media research will include
development of a national test bed for Internet protocol television
(IPTV), a fully interactive digital television service offered to
subscribers via an Internet-based broadband connection. By bringing
together designers and users, the institute will explore the potential
applications of this emerging technology.
RFID: The research with RFID will center on authentication and
identification technologies from acoustics to optics for the commercial
sector. For instance, because Ireland has a thriving pharmaceutical
industry, some of the institute's research will target pill-tracking
accuracy, ensuring authenticity and dosage.
Biotechnology: The institute's biotechnology research will
focus primarily on medical devices for preventive and predictive
medicine and manufacturing of medical devices. The institute's energy
and environmental research focus will be on enabling technologies and
systems models for sustainable energy alternatives, a research area of
critical importance to both the United States and Ireland.
GTRI Ireland's Athlone location leaves it well situated for collaborative
research with a broad range of companies and universities throughout the
country. Athlone is between Dublin on the east coast and Galway on the west
coast. Cork, home of the renowned Tyndall Institute, is on the southern
coast. Elan Pharmaceutical and Ericsson are both headquartered in Athlone,
and other major corporations have plans to come to the region.
GTRI Deputy Director Dr. David Parekh, who has been working with IDA
Ireland for the past two years to bring this initiative to fruition, will
have primary responsibility for developing GTRI Ireland strategy,
establishing corporate alliances and selecting the right talent to ensure
this endeavor is successful. He commended IDA for its commitment to
innovation and effectiveness in supporting initiatives through a world-class
staff of professionals in Ireland and the U.S. In describing this
partnership with the country of Ireland, he remarked, "Ireland has the
resources of a nation and the agility of a start-up."