Limerick role in new EU fellowship programme

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Lero EU fellowship
Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Dr. Markus Helfert, Dr Mary Shire and Senator Kieran O'Donnell at Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre which is based at the University of Limerick.

A new €3.6 million EU fellowship programme for international software researchers will be managed from the University of Limerick.

ALECS (Advanced Learning in Evolving Critical Systems) will be co-ordinated by UL and Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, which is based at the university. The initiative is being funded by the European Commission and by Science Foundation Ireland through Lero.

Under the ALECS programme Ireland will benefit from the influx of 26 international advanced software researchers. The fellowships will be open to overseas PhD degree holders or researchers with at least four years’ high-level research background. The benefits will be spread across Irish industry as the two year programme will require a three to six month secondment to an industry partner.

The launch coincides with the first meeting of PERFORM, a recently announced €3.8 million EU programme headed up by Lero and DCU designed to enable European high street and online retailers counter the competitive threat posed by foreign global players.

“The aim of ALECS is to help generate a diverse, mobile, skilled workforce which will contribute to European research and innovation. The fact that Ireland was selected to manage this strategically important programme is recognition of the country’s international reputation in software research,” commented UL vice president of research Dr Mary Shire.

Lero EU Fellowship
Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Dr Mary Shire and Senator Kieran O’Donnell at Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre which is based at the University of Limerick.

“The ALECS programme reflects the fact that software-based systems are increasingly important to economic activity and to the normal functioning of our everyday lives. The scope, scale and interconnected nature of such systems are increasing rapidly, with the potential consequences of failure, security breaches or malfunction becoming a growing cause of concern,” added Lero director Professor Brian Fitzgerald.

Dr Darrin Morrissey, director of programmes at Science Foundation Ireland said, “The ALECS programme is an excellent example of the type of international collaboration Science Foundation Ireland aims to encourage. We have developed a strong base of outstanding and impactful software research in this country and we are delighted that it is being recognised on the global stage. Ireland is ranked first in the world for knowledge diffusion and the ALECS programme stands to reinforce this standing.”

The first call for proposals will be published before end of November and the first researchers are expected to start their fellowship in August 2018. They will be based across seven Irish universities – all of which are members of Lero.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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