UCC and Tyndall win €2.3m funding for energy and quantum integration projects

Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) and the Tyndall National Institute based at UCC have won a combined €2.3m in funding for projects on AI energy management and integrated photonics.

The funding, revealed today, has been awarded under the Frontiers for the Future Programme announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan TD.

Among the successful recipients are UCC’s Dr Barry Hayes, School of Engineering and Architecture/MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine and Dr Emanuele Pelucchi, Tyndall National Institute.

Dr Hayes has been awarded over €1m (€1,032,955.20) for his project “Autonomous Open Energy Communities: A New Paradigm For Power Grid Operations (AUTONOMY)”.

Hosted by MaREI and the UCC School of Engineering, AUTONOMY was inspired by recent advances in artificial intelligence and will create revolutionary new tools to manage electrical energy resources at a local level.  It aims to maximise the economic benefits for individuals and communities when interacting with the energy markets.

The project will also develop new approaches to grid planning to ensure equitable access to the grid and energy markets for all users in the post-carbon era.

Dr Pelucchi has received €1.29m (€1,296,252.34) for his project, “Expanding Site-Controlled Quantum Dot Technology: Photonic Cavity Toolkit Development For Quantum Integration (Exquis)”.

Exquis leverages the incoming ‘second quantum revolution’ to address fundamental steps for the demonstration of fundamental photonic devices for quantum information processing based on semiconductor artificial atom technology and integrated photonics.

The project involves European and Irish partners who will work in synergy towards an ambitious and potentially high-gain goal.

“Congratulations to Dr Barry Hayes and Dr Emanuele Pelucchi on receiving these prestigious awards that will enable them to deliver research focused solutions to major societal, technological, and environmental challenges. These project awards will further enhance UCC’s world leading research reputation in the areas of Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum & Photonics, key areas of our UCC Futures Framework.”
Professor John Cryan
Vice President for Research and Innovation
University College Cork

The projects are two of 28 funding awardsannounced today valued at €34 million to support research across seven Higher Education Institutions.

Speaking today, Minister O’Donovan said: “These awards support the development of world-class research in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The projects and higher education institutions are focusing on will help deliver solutions to some of the major challenges facing society, including in healthcare, the environment and technology.”

The 28 awards are of 4-5 years’ duration and will support 124 research positions including 58 postdoctoral positions, 53 PhD students and 13 research assistants and other positions. This programme has been funded in collaboration with SEAI.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SFI Frontiers for the Future awards provide opportunities for independent investigators to conduct highly-innovative, original research on important questions.

 “I would like to thank SEAI for collaborating on this programme with SFI, supporting vital research in the area of sustainability.”

Director of Research and Policy Insights at Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Margie McCarthy, said: “SEAI is delighted to be a co-funding partner in the Frontiers for the Future Programme.

“These awards are excellent examples of national innovation and creativity. By supporting independent researchers, we can help grow Ireland’s national capacity to conduct excellent scientific research.

“We look forward to the new insights and knowledge that the co-funded awards will bring to offshore wind energy support structures and anaerobic digestion ecosystems, and how their results will advance Ireland’s clean energy transition.”

The research will be undertaken in the following seven research bodies: Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Teagasc, and University of Galway.

Feature Project


AUTONOMY proposes the world’s first autonomous community energy management system, demonstrating the advantages of an electricity grid supported by autonomously-operated, decentralised cells over present centralised command and control approaches.

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