Published on in Innovation

As Head of Research for Fujitsu Ireland, a significant part of my role involves working closely with Irish academic institutions and research organisations. Building robust relationships is paramount to driving successful research projects such as Fujitsu Laboratories’ flagship programmes in Ireland: the KIDUKU (“awareness”) Project, focused on connected health and KIZNA (“collaboration”) which targets the creation of analytical tools to achieve new meaning through the interpretation of Linked Data.

Projects such as these are fundamental to Fujitsu’s exploration of Human Centric Innovation and without the support and expertise from Universities and research institutions this would not be possible. However to realise our ambitions to grow these programmes and deliver commercial excellence requires very specific skills.

One of the key challenges faced by Ireland and throughout Europe is the skills gap; how to develop the pool of expertise and knowledge to fuel the conversion of new ideas, presented by our academic groups and industrial laboratories, into the technologies of tomorrow. That gap threatens to stall innovation and economic growth, failing to deliver the cutting edge jobs that will drive competition, preventing companies, and indeed countries, from achieving their true potential. Those nations which address that gap now, will lead internationally, achieving a vibrant high skilled economy which will attract FDI.

This month, I chaired a discussion which attempted to tackle these very issues or at least begin the conversation. Organised by The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (iCHEC) on Technical Computing and the Economy: Competitiveness and Job Creation. A key theme for the discussion was the need to nurture and grow Ireland’s expertise in the sector of ICT, particularly in technical computing defined as “the practice of aggregating computing in a way that delivers much higher performance than achievable through typical computing.”

The promised outcome would be the creation of skilled ICT specialists with the ability to harness the power of technology to tackle real world challenges and achieve a better and more self-sustaining society. Themes that very much resonate with our Fujitsu philosophy.

With the global technical computing market growing at a rate of 7.5% year on year since 2010, the case for expanding the technical computing sector is certainly compelling. An EU report on high performing computing gives evidence to this, stating the return on investment from technical computing is extremely high. “Companies and countries that invest the most in technical computing lead in science and economic success.”

Later this week, I’ll be exploring how Fujitsu is investing in innovation across Ireland, and why technical computing presents such a huge opportunity for the Irish economy.

Image credit: fdadres44

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