Scientists at the Northern Ireland Semiconductor Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast have been helped by Invest Northern Ireland to team up on projects with their counterparts at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) and the Atmel Corporation, Denver.
The technology transfer link-up is the result of an invitation from the Northern Ireland Technology and Development Centre Denver (NITDC Denver) to researchers from UCCS and Atmel to visit Northern Ireland in February, 2006. The objective of the visit was to enable the research teams to meet and exchange technology.
The meetings resulted in the first university-industry international research collaborations in Colorado Springs.
The scientists agreed to:
-Collaborate on several areas of research;
-Submit joint patent applications;
-Send from Northern Ireland a PhD candidate and a post doctoral candidate to UCCS; and
-Apply jointly for research funding, to date in the amount of approximately $1 million.
Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, said: “Promoting and encouraging global innovation networks involving our universities and companies is part of our strategic focus on internationalising and strengthening the technology base of the Northern Ireland economy.
“Our Technology and Development Centre in Denver is now playing a vitally important role in creating such networks. A good example of this was the visit to Northern Ireland by UCCS and Atmel in February. This was an outstanding success, resulting in approximately 10 areas of collaboration between research teams at Queen’s, UCCS and Atmel on advanced technology projects,” she added.
Professor Harold Gamble, Director, Northern Ireland Semiconductor Centre at Queen’s, said: "The collaboration with Atmel Corporation and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is based on advanced silicon and silicon-germanium technology. It will enable the researchers at Queen's to have their innovative radio frequency designs implemented on their specially engineered substrates with state-of-the art SiGe devices.
“This will enable the innovative work being done at Queen's to be brought to a wider industrial arena. The collaboration enables new research areas to be investigated that would not be feasible by Queen's researchers alone."
Between December, 2004, and early 2006, NITDC Denver Director, Margaret McMahon assisted in detailed meetings among the scientists, which took place over a three-day period in Belfast and Londonderry in February, 2006.
In recognition of this outstanding international collaboration, the Mayor of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and its International Affairs department subsequently presented the International Collaboration Award to Dr. Gerald Oleszek, Associate Professor, Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, UCCS; Prof Gamble, Director, Northern Ireland Semiconductor Research Centre, Queens University Belfast; and Darwin Enicks, Senior Process Engineer, Atmel Corporation.