8 October 2007

Enterprise Ireland Informatics Showcase

The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) won the Enterprise Ireland (EI) Informatics Commercialisation Award 2007.

The award was presented by Micheal Ahern T.D, Minister for Innovation Policy to Barry Downes, Commercial Director of the TSSG, at the Enterprise Ireland Technology Showcase which took place today (3rd October) in the Radisson Royal SAS Hotel in Dublin's city centre. "The TSSG has been pursuing a range of spin-in opportunities, where we attract companies to locate in Waterford to collaborate with us, and spin-out opportunities where we establish a new companies to commercialise our success. This award recognises our achievements to date in acting as a catalyst of ICT innovation in the south east of Ireland," said Barry Downes upon receipt of the award.

The showcase event focused on eight technology products and services that have been developed by academic researchers which are ready to be snapped up by investors in the advanced technology industry.

In addition to these pitches, a targeted attendance of investors, entrepreneurs and technology trend-watchers also met with senior researchers from nine third level institutes who between them demonstrated a further thirty technologies with commercial potential at the showcase.

Presenting the award, Minister Ahern said "the TSSG are to be congratulated on this success, not just in winning the Commercialisation Award, but for bringing the fruits of their research to the marketplace. The TSSG at Waterford IT have demonstrated real innovation in the commercialisation space through their formation of a true joint venture with an entrepreneur to create the new company Hash 6 which is now contributing to the local economy of Waterford. This innovative spirit is one of the core pillars of the Governments Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation."

The TSSG prides itself on the dynamic linkages it maintains between research and commercialisation, across the research and innovation spectrum. "The TSSG is unique in Ireland in placing equal value on commercialisation, applied research and basic research," said Mícheál Ó Foghlú, Research Director of the TSSG, "This award demonstrates that we have already begun to make an impact with our commercialisation strategy. Our recent success in the European Seventh Framework, with 6 new funded projects, the biggest success in Ireland, demonstrates that our applied research strategy is winning; our recent success in the HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 announced by the Minister of Education Mary Hanafin in August, demonstrates that our basic research strategy is winning."

Two TSSG companies presented at the EI Informatics Showcase:

See also Enterprise Ireland Press Release and EI Informatics Showcase (Event Details).

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2 October 2007

Ubiquitous Web Applications

I am the TSSG's Advisory Council member for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). At our last meeting in Banff Canada (May 2007) I had the pleaseure of meeting, among others, Dave Raggett. He chairs the Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity in the W3C.

On the UWA blog, I noticed that Dave had delivered the opening talk on "The Web of Things" at the UWE Web Developer's Conference in Bristol, UK on 26 September 2007.


A look at the origins of the Web, how it has evolved, and the challenges in extending it to the Web of things as the number and variety of networked devices explodes. Changing the way we conceive of the Web. Why today's hacks will give way to more structured approaches to developing applications that allow developers to focus on what the application should do rather than the details of exactly how.

I am sorry to have missed this talk, but I could read the slides which take about 10-15 minutes to read through: Dave Raggett Slides - Web of Things

Personally, I think the arguments for declarative development (e.g. HTML, XML, ...) over procedural language development (e.g. Java, JavaScript, AJAX, ...) are very strong and will win out in the medium to long term for mobile web development. This slideset explains why. Declarative standards for the web expanding to cover more areas, particularly to enable flexibility of mobile devices as limited as a remote control, are one potential future with many interesting options. It's all about making the infrastructure simple, and lower the barriers to entry for programing, just as the web has already done for desktop applications (introducing so called "web time" and slashing development costs for distributed systems).

Interestingly I could give almost the same talk as Dave did, with a different focus on how IPv6 can help solve the problems at a lower layer. It'll take both to really achieve both the "Web of things" and the "Internet of things".

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