‘Fastest lab in Europe at’ UUC

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The fastest trans-Atlantic research laboratory communications connection anywhere in Europe is to be installed at the University of Ulster’s School of Computing and Information Engineering at the Coleraine campus.

The university’s Computer Science Research Institute has secured over £1 million for the three year project – part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland’s Research and Development Fund.

When fully operational, the ‘Digital Innovation Infrastructure for Next Generation Internet’ project will provide the Coleraine campus with the fastest laboratory communications network access of its kind between Europe and Northern America via the Kelvin trans-Atlantic fibre.

Project Coordinator Professor Gerard Parr, Chair in Telecommunications Engineering at Coleraine, said it was significant project, not only for the University but for Northern Ireland.

“Project Kelvin, which is operated by Hibernia Networks, currently provides the fastest connection between Europe and North America. We are strategically positioned to leverage the existence of Project Kelvin and we intend to take advantage of the low latency (high speed) connectivity it affords.

“The Cable Landing Station is physically adjacent to the Coleraine campus and we will have a direct high-speed connection from the landing station to a specially designated laboratory on campus.”

The new project, which is part of a strategic research and development initiative, will give the University of Ulster and Northern Ireland a competitive edge for internationally leading industrially relevant research for Cloud Technologies and Massive Data Analytics.

Professor Parr explained: “Project Kelvin provides the high-speed that many companies require to service customers where every second counts. This is a very strong pull factor for global ICT and data centre companies interested in investing in Europe. It is also attractive for companies wishing to conduct innovative research and we hope to benefitfrom this.

“This project will leverage our existing expertise and resources and we will use it to design and test protocols that will feed into potential standards to manage and monitor the performance of future high capacity storage/compute cloud infrastructure that deal with vast amounts of real-time data.

Welcoming the InvestNI funding, Professor Hugh McKenna, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Ulster said: “It has emerged from a ‘perfect storm’ where the University, Government and industry partners came together to highlight that fact that answers were required to the big technological issues of relevance to wider society and the economy.