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UK takes slice of $40m Intel university research investment

Warwick Ashford

Intel is to invest more than $40m in a network of university research centres in the UK, Germany and Israel over the next five years.

The Intel Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI) programme brings together academic and industry experts to focus on different areas of technology development.

The ICRI for Sustainable Connected Cities will be in the UK; the ICRI for Secure Computing in Germany; and the ICRI for Computational Intelligence in Israel.

Each ICRI is to be led by a "hub" educational institute and will span multiple "spoke" institutions to build a global community of researchers. The ICRI programme is based on the successful US-based Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTCs),

"The new ICRI programme underscores our commitment to establishing and funding collaborative university research to fuel global innovation in key areas and help address some of today's most challenging problems," said Justin Rattner, chief technology officer at Intel.

"Forming a multidisciplinary community of Intel, faculty and graduate student researchers from around the world will lead to fundamental breakthroughs in some of the most difficult and vexing areas of computing technology," Rattner said.

The three ICRIs will collaborate with their own multi-university communities and other ICRIs, as well as the US-based ISTCs, to strengthen Intel's global research network. 

For the ICRI for Sustainable Connected Cities in the UK, Intel is partnering with Imperial College London and University College London to address challenging social, economic and environmental problems of city life with computing technology.

Using London as a test bed, researchers will explore technologies to make cities more aware and adaptive by harnessing real-time user and city infrastructure data.

For example, through a city urban cloud platform, the city managers could perform real-time city optimisations such as predicting the effects of extreme weather events on the city's water and energy supplies, resulting in delivery of near real time information to citizens through citywide displays and mobile applications.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “This new investment from Intel is great news for the UK economy and is recognition of the government’s commitment to ensuring that the UK becomes the technology centre of Europe, building on success such as Tech City and the recent investments in supercomputing.”

At the ICRI for Secure Computing in Germany, Intel and the Technische Universität Darmstadt will explore ways to advance the trustworthiness of mobile and embedded devices and ecosystems.

For example, the joint research will seek ways to develop secure, car-to-device communications for added driver safety; new approaches to secure mobile commerce; and a better understanding of privacy and its various implementations.

At the ICRI for Computational Intelligence in Israel, Intel will collaborate with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to explore ways to enable computing systems to augment human capabilities in a wide array of complex tasks.

For example, by developing body sensors that continuously monitor the owner's body, researchers could then pre-process this information and take appropriate actions.

"Intel has long recognised that the computing industry is sustained by the efforts of many participants," said Chris Ramming, director of Intel Labs University Collaborations Office.

"We are hopeful that we will be able to expand the programme and include other industry and government sponsors to find new ways to accelerate the creation and adoption of valuable new technologies," he said.


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