October 01, 2012
Oct. 1 — One of the world's foremost authorities in computer science will today launch a major new centre of cloud computing, which has been funded by Denis O'Brien, one of Ireland's leading international businessmen. The new centre at National College of Ireland will support the development of the cloud computing industry in Ireland and abroad.
Professor Jeffrey Ullman, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University in the US, will officially launch the NCI Cloud Competency Centre. Part of the college's established School of Computing, the Centre was created to fulfil the rapidly growing educational needs of the cloud computing and web technology sectors.
The official proceedings will be presided over by NCI Chairman Denis O'Brien, chairman and owner of Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing international telecommunications companies, and CEO of Communicorp, whose generosity has funded the start-up of the new Centre.
Professor Ullman will serve as Chair of the International Advisory Board of the School of Computing at National College of Ireland, with overall responsibility for the strategy of the new Centre.
Globally renowned for the impact he and his students have had on the technology landscape and industry, Prof. Ullman has been influential in shaping the history of companies including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel and Google. Having acted as PhD Supervisor to the co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ullman has served on the technical advisory board of Google since its founding.
The day to day running will be managed by Dr Horacio González-Vélez, an award-winning computational researcher and technologist, who was recently appointed as Head of Centre. Dr González-Vélez will direct NCI's cloud infrastructure, postgraduate programmes and research with a clear emphasis on innovation, education inclusion, and industrial partnerships.
NCI President Dr. Phillip Matthews thanked Denis O'Brien for his generous donation, and said the Centre represents a real opportunity for Ireland: "The cloud computing industry has the potential to be a critical driver of the Irish economy in terms of growth and jobs. As the industry is still evolving worldwide, there are real opportunities for Ireland to position itself as a global leader in the field. By establishing one of the first significant centres of excellence for teaching and research in cloud computing, National College of Ireland seeks to support Ireland in taking a leadership role in this vital industry. We are extremely grateful to our Chairman, Denis O'Brien, whose vision and generosity has made the Centre a reality."
The Cloud Competency Centre has been developed in close consultation with industry, from multinationals including Dell, Microsoft and IBM, to indigenous Irish ICT organisations – many of which are situated in NCI's Business Incubation Centre.
Commenting on the launch of the Cloud Competency Centre at NCI, Peter O'Neill, managing director, IBM Ireland, said: "Given the value of cloud computing in transforming the delivery of higher value goods and services at lesser cost , cloud computing skills are no longer just a requirement for the IT professional, they are becoming increasingly important for the business professional as well.
"The business world has steadily seen cloud computing become one of the most important skills required to prepare our leaders of tomorrow, and we are pleased to be working with National College of Ireland's Cloud Competency Centre to help them explore new and innovative ways to bridge business and technical skills together."
Dermot O'Connell, general manager, Dell Ireland added: "Dell is delighted to be a partner of NCI's Cloud Competency Centre. NCI's Cloud infrastructure has been built on Dell servers and storage solutions and we are committed to working with the NCI as they foster
an understanding of the Cloud industry among their students.
"Ireland has huge potential to become a Cloud Centre of Excellence and by introducing the concept to students at third level we are ensuring they are ready to work in the industry. We're delighted to be part of this project and look forward to continuing our work with NCI as they continue to support Ireland's ambition to become an internationally renowned location for Cloud Computing."
Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft, said: "Microsoft is very aware that there is a skills deficit within the ICT services supply chain. Cloud Computing and its related services are strategically important to Ireland's economy and we welcome NCI's Cloud Competency Centre and the work that it will be doing to directly address these deficits and to further research in the sector."
Source: National College of Ireland
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