Two Irish-based researchers selected for funding through CHIST-ERA network

Posted: 16 September, 2021

The Irish Research Council are delighted to announce that two Irish-based researchers have been selected for funding following the CHIST-ERA 2020 Call. Both of the transnational funded projects will be led by Irish Coordinators. The CHIST-ERA network selected overall 10 new collaborative transnational and multidisciplinary research projects for funding, for a total budget of approximately €10 million. The research proposals fall within two topics: the Advanced Brain-Computer Interfaces (four funded projects) and Towards Sustainable ICT (six funded projects).

Two established experts based in Ireland will be leading projects selected in this prestigious European research programme, each based within one of the proposed topics:

Professor Tomás Ward (left above) is AIB Professor of Data Analytics in the School of Computing at Dublin City University and the Project Coordinator of the Brain Integrated Tagging for Socially Curated Online Personalised Experiences (BITSCOPE) project. Professor Ward is also a principal investigator at the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. Together with DCU academics Professor Alan Smeaton and Assistant Professor Graham Healy, the DCU team are leading a European consortium developing novel neurotechnology applications in the domain of virtual cultural environments.

BITSCOPE presents a vision for brain computer interfaces (BCI) which can enhance social relationships in the context of sharing virtual experiences. The project proposes future technology in which attention, memorability and curiosity elicited in virtual worlds will be measured without the requirement of “likes” and other explicit forms of feedback. Instead, users of this improved BCI technology can explore online experiences leaving behind an invisible trail of neural data-derived signatures of interest. This data, passively collected without interrupting the user, and refined in quality through machine learning, can be used by standard social sharing algorithms such as recommender systems to create better experiences. To realise this ambitious project, the Insight team has assembled a multidisciplinary team from France, Poland and Spain with expertise in virtual reality, neurotechnology, signal processing, human perception and digital cultural heritage.

Dr Xingqi Zhang (right above) Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University College Dublin, is the Coordinator and Principal Investigator of the Towards Sustainable ICT: Sparse Ubiquitous Networks based on Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (SUNRISE) project. Dr Zhang works in the interdisciplinary areas of applied electromagnetics and wireless communications, with a focus on the development of high-performance models/algorithms for emerging wireless technologies in 5G/6G/THz wireless communications, intelligent transportation, industrial Internet of Things, as well as biomedical sensing and healthcare applications.

The SUNRISE project aims to pave the way towards future wireless networks that are energy-efficient and sustainable by design. It brings together research teams in Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and United Kingdom with strong and complementary backgrounds in communications and information theory, applied electromagnetics, and artificial intelligence. The project provides a holistic framework for realising sparse ubiquitous networks based on the reconfigurable intelligent surface, which is envisioned as a key enabler for future 6G wireless networks (and beyond) through improving both the performances of the communication links as well as increasing the energy efficiency of wireless networks. The project will engage with key wireless communication networks in industry and academia throughout Europe to ensure maximum impact for European research, telecom operators, and society. It will also strengthen the strategic partnership between the universities and industrial establishments, leading to more opportunities for future collaborative research projects at both European and international levels.

More information on the Call 2020 topics and full list of selected projects is available on the CHIST-ERA website.

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