Foster announces support for major research initiative

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced £1.7 million of Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) assistance towards a unique joint research initiative by SAP UK and Intel Corporation.

SAP and Intel are two of the world’s leading Information Communications Technology (ICT) companies. In October 2009, they established a research laboratory at SAP’s premises in Titanic Quarter, Belfast, where the companies employ a research team working on cutting-edge research in the field of sustainable ICT.

Announcing the support the Minister said: “This is a highly innovative and internationally significant initiative that promises to deliver exciting research results in the areas of ICT related energy efficiency and new computing technologies.”

“Although SAP and Intel have engaged in research together before, this is the first time that they have established a shared physical location with pooled resources. It is significant that these major ICT multinationals chose Northern Ireland as the location for this initiative. It reflects their confidence in the IT skills available here and in particular, the high value they place on the opportunity to work closely with our universities.”

“ICT is a priority sector for Invest NI as it is a key driver for economic growth. This project will enhance Northern Ireland’s ability to attract further research and development investment in ICT.”

SAP’s Northern Ireland research location was established in January 2005 with support from Invest NI. It was the organisation’s first such research location in the UK and Ireland region. This investment will expand SAP’s research presence in Northern Ireland and create Intel Ireland’s first research footprint here. Invest NI support includes part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Martin Curley, Director Intel Labs Europe said: “Intel has a long standing research partnership with SAP and our collaborations have resulted in some exciting advancements in ICT, in particular enhancing the ability to manage complex, large scale IT environments. With SAP’s positive experience in Northern Ireland in terms of access to highly skilled people and a strong academic base, this collaboration was a very attractive option.”

Hervé Couturier, executive vice president business information technology & global research at SAP said: “SAP has worked closely with Invest NI since establishing a base here in 2005. Since then the local knowledge base has continued to impress us and complement our ongoing work to secure advances in cloud computing. This will be further enhanced by our research partnership with Intel in Belfast.”

SAP provides business software that helps accelerate business innovation to companies of all sizes in more than 120 countries ( SAP Research is the global technology research unit of SAP committed to shaping the IT solutions of tomorrow through industrial research.