NVIDIA and Queen’s invest £5.4m to boost NI’s AI credentials

Project aims to accelerate artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber security research in Northern Ireland.

Queen’s University Belfast and tech giant NVIDIA are to invest £5.4m in a joint research and development (R&D) project.

The aim of the project is to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cybersecurity research across Northern Ireland.

“We are investing in the skills of the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity and progressing the Northern Ireland economy”

“Collaboration between industry and academia is an important driver of innovation and growth in technology and I’m pleased to see this partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and NVIDIA,” said Northern Ireland Economy Minister Gordon Lyons.

“Investments like this are supporting my department’s 10X Economic Vision and positioning Northern Ireland on the global innovation map amongst the best small economies.”

10 new engineering and research roles

Three men and a woman standing on steps.

From left: Professor Sakir Sezer, Principal Architect at NVIDIA, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons, and Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation

NVIDIA’s Belfast office will become a research hub for advanced network intelligence, with 10 new highly skilled engineering and research roles being created. 

NVIDIA graphics processing units, or GPUs, have redefined modern computer graphics, high performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Professor Sakir Sezer, who also serves as Principal Architect at NVIDIA said: “We plan to tap into the highly skilled researchers and PhDs at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as state-of-the art labs at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and the Global Innovation Institute, to explore research challenges around AI-centric cloud and data centre security. This project is an important step in greater engagement between NVIDIA and the university, and we look forward to welcoming the new engineering staff joining us for it.”

This new R&D project will include efforts to develop additional innovative functionality on NVIDIA’s next-generation data processing units, or DPUs.

Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer, said: “The allocation of this funding will have a hugely positive impact on the cyber security sector, both locally and globally. At Queen’s, we are very proud of the work that takes place through our Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and are looking forward to further developing cutting-edge research through the Global Innovation Institute.

“This partnership with NVIDIA is an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively on world leading research and it is vital that we continue to do this in tandem with our industry partners. In doing so, we are investing in the skills of the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity and progressing the Northern Ireland economy.”

Part of the project will be funded through a £1.7 million R&D grant by Invest Northern Ireland.

“Securing such a prestigious project for Northern Ireland is testament to NVIDIA’s confidence in its Belfast workforce and what it can achieve in Northern Ireland,” said Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s director of Innovation, Research and Development.

“The company has a proven track record for using innovation to stay ahead of its competitors and translating ideas into successful commercial reality. This project, which we are supporting with a £1.7m grant for R&D, will strengthen the skills, technical capabilities and standing of NVIDIA’s Belfast engineering team and encourage a knowledge spill over within the Northern Ireland development community.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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