By @SimonCocking. We recently spoke with Brian MacCraith in relation to DCU’s recent announcement of their latest partnership with Intel, and other interesting things happening at one of Ireland’s most dynamic universities.

DCU joins forces with Intel to foster talent and develop advanced technologies

DCU has had a long an ongoing relationship with Intel, as MacCraith explained “Intel has been an ongoing relationshop, and we aim to engage deeply with enterprise sector, so we are very pleased to bring it a new level”. Intel will be funding 16 masters is positive venture and will cover a range of disciplines including the Internet of Things technology and Data Analytics for application in areas such as connected health, water quality management and STEM education innovations. They will be in the form of a Scholarship in partnership between Intel and DCU.

As frequent visitors to many of the Hackathons that have been taking place at the DCU Alpha campus we know that this expansion has gone well, with many startups and larger companies taking up residency there. We asked Brian what examples they had been inspired by when developing the initiative. He explained “we had an innovation agenda and we visited Taiwan’s science park, this once had only 15 to 20 companies, but is now a thriving hub of innovation. This was a big inspiration, with lots of problem solving through creativity. We wanted to have a campus with ICT innovation space. We have already reached capacity, in the first new space we developed, and we are now a hub for Hackathons in Ireland. We now aim to have at least one per semester for students as it is useful, with many useful skills to learn from them”.

The concept of innovation for students has now been integrated into the accademic process with a DICE concept of digital innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. MacCraith explained  “we use it to measure the creative process, we want everyone to be an innovator. We want to create a platform of creativty, and for them to learn that it’s ok to fail, and help them to become more rounded individuals”.

There is also a STEAM hackathon planned to happen soon which sounds like it will be both exciting and challenging to ensure that it is a success. MacCraith acknowledged “you have to be careful not 2 be too broad, but including the creative arts, performing arts could offer a sweet spot for STEM, so this was the reason for the steam hackathon. Having chaired the STEAM education review, we’re pleased to see that 21 of our reccomendations are being implemented. From a DCU perspective we want to emphasise the quality of STEAM research and importance of a strong gender balance”.

Finally MacCraith explained about the IoT Croke Park initiative as a test bed for many interesting technologies with the potential for very interesting insights.  Intel, Microsoft, and DCU are already on board with many more looking to be involved too. “The stadium is a smart city in microcosm, so we can test out ideas, it will be very interesting to look at crowd movements and much more”. We agreed so much with this idea that we will be doing another piece completely dedicated to this aspect of DCU’s work with IoT.

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