Arc Labs Waterford

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Information doc: 

Miguel Ponce de Leon, +353 51 302920, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland

Effective member: 

Arc Labs is a centre of two of complementary activities, firstly research through the largest information and communications technology research groups in Ireland the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG), which comprises of basic researchers, applied researchers and pre-product developers (110 people in total) and secondly a centre for entrepreneurship which supports entrepreneurs involved in knowledge-based start-ups in developing and accelerating their business concept through the South East Enterprise Platform Programme (SEEPP). Arc Labs, hosted at the Waterford Institute of Technology, is building a sustainable base of high-growth, knowledge-intensive industry, which is vital in achieving the ambitious economic and employment targets that have been set down for the southeast of Ireland.  

Description of Concept

Arc Labs is providing leadership in fostering a research, development and innovation culture from which indigenous enterprises can emerge to create sustainable career opportunities in regionally diverse locations. In this way, Arc Labs co-locates high-end postgraduate research with fledgling businesses. This produces real benefits for both parties by allowing researchers to tap into the “real-world” insight of emerging entrepreneurs who in turn have access to valuable research that eases their path to the market place. Arc Labs structures scientific research, business incubation and entrepreneurship training at a single site, creating an environment that channels the research output to the marketplace through innovation and entrepreneurship. The centre has a nationally unrivalled mobile communications facility which provides a Living Lab for real and rapid development, prototyping, interoperability, conformance testing and validation of wireless and mobile research. As part of the validation activities at the centre, a human resource component compliments the infrastructure.  User groups sourced from the Institute’s students are engaged in early product market pilots while collaborations as part of a series of projects include user groups from cross-Europe local authorities, citizens plus sporting and entertainment clubs for the purpose of validation activities.  

References and Track Record

The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) was founded in 1996. Since then, it has grown into a research centre of over 30 active projects, 110 active staff and students, and over €22Million in funding (1996-2006). The group activity covers a basic research programme, an applied research programme and an innovation and commercialisation strategy. This makes the TSSG unique in the Irish research landscape, as it has a very high level trans-disciplinary view of the communications services space, linking the science of the key basic research questions with the engineering expertise to create innovative prototype solutions in collaboration with mainly European partners, and combining all this with the entrepreneurial business vision to exploit a range of commercial opportunities that result. The TSSG explicitly addresses all elements of the innovation lifecycle, as not purely an academic research centre in the traditional sense. The TSSG's main area of research is communications software services encompassing emerging architectures for management of complex telecommunications and Internet systems as well as next generation service development and deployment.