Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, raised an additional E3m in research funding in 2012 according to its annual report issued today.
New projects included research contracts with the European Space Agency, United Technologies Research Centre and several EU-funded research consortia. During 2012 Lero announced funding of E22.4m over 5 years through Science Foundation Ireland and technology firms such as IBM and Intel.
Lero also reported that it was awarded five new patents in 2012 covering areas such as self-sacrificing spacecraft swarms and methods of protecting autonomous systems. Forkstream, a spinout company, was established and it has recently been acquired by Openet, a leading Irish transaction management software and services provider. 170 Lero researchers recorded a 47pc increase in journal papers and a 41pc increase in conference papers during the year.
“Our researchers are in demand globally,” commented Prof Mike Hinchey, director, Lero. “The work which is being done in Ireland is world leading across a number of areas including medical devices, agile, cloud and space flight software.”
He said the prolonged Ulster Bank and RBS outage in 2012 was a reminder of what can happen when critical software systems crash due to badly managed changes. In the United States a recent report by the US Food & Drug Administration showed that 20pc of the medical device recalls in the US in 2012 were due to software faults. “Today it is almost impossible to lead a software-free life. Software is the enabling factor in smartphones, smart cities, smart homes, smart health and just about smart anything.”
He added, “Because software can be easily changed, it is often changed badly. Lero specialises in Evolving Critical Systems research which aims to develop methods, techniques, tools, and processes for the development and evolution of highly reliable software systems that maintain, or improve, their reliability as they evolve.”