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World-Leading Technology To Be Demonstrated at Queen's University's £40M ECIT Institute

Some of the world’s most leading-edge technology will be demonstrated in Northern Ireland this Friday (13 October), when the £40M Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s University, in co-operation with Invest NI, will host its first Open Day and Seminar Programme since opening in May of last year.

The Institute’s work in the areas of Emerging Security Technologies and Wireless Communications Systems will be presented to dozens of local and international experts in the Institute’s flagship centre in the Northern Ireland Science Park. The event follows a dinner for delegates and key stakeholders which was hosted by Invest Northern Ireland in the Great Hall at Queen’s University.

Among those areas expected to attract the most interest will be the fields of audio/video analytics in which ECIT’s work will see future CCTV systems able to automatically identify alarming events such as someone stealing a car, aggressive behaviour or someone abandoning a bag, to the areas of speech recognition hardware design and systems capable of providing adequate security for emerging and future communication technologies.

ECIT is one of 18 Research Technology and Development Centres of Excellence which have been established in Northern Ireland with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Designed to act as a hub for high-technology research and enterprise in the Titanic Quarter area of Belfast and to stimulate major opportunities for economic growth, research already undertaken by teams at ECIT has led to job creation and important advances in areas such as electronic security, video-on-demand and high speed image processing. An additional fifty staff and students have been employed at ECIT since May 2003 and some of the research in disruptive technologies is already likely to lead to at least two spin-out companies in the near future.

Speaking about the Institute’s first major industrial event, ECIT Director, Professor John McCanny, a world recognised expert in the design of complex silicon chips for electronics and video communications applications said: “ ECIT strives to seek a healthy balance between vital ‘blue skies’ research and the strategic research required by Industry. Interest in ECIT’s work comes from across the globe and we hope that this event will play an important part in our aim of attracting inward investment to Northern Ireland.

“From the latest developments in audio/video analytics that will enable more effective CCTV systems to aid our security, to an innovative piece of speech recognition hardware design that may eventually mean we can dictate emails while in the car or verbally instruct our PDAs to book a meeting with several different people, we hope the Open Day programme will help demonstrate just why ECIT holds such a strong global position in the fields of information technology and electronic communications.”

Also visiting Belfast for the event will be Professor Andy Hopper, Professor of Computer Technology and Head of Department at The Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. A member of the recently announced Advisory Board to ECIT, he acknowledged ECIT’s success saying: “ECIT is a world-class venture which has been very successful in drawing academic and industrial attention to Queen’s and Northern Ireland”.

The ECIT Open Day and Seminar Programme takes place at ECIT, Northern Ireland Science Park, Queen’s Island from 10.00am on Friday, 13th October.

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
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