The centre’s agenda will be industry-led with input coming from a number of leading companies such as eBay, HP, Fidelity Investments, Accenture and Dell.
It will be focused on developing ways of generating business, profit and jobs from the area of analysing online data.
The IDA/Enterprise Ireland-backed Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research (CeADAR) will be led by UCD.
So-called “big data” — which is about converting large amounts of raw data into information via the use of statistical techniques and advanced software — is a sector showing 40% annual growth globally and is expected to generate about 4.4m jobs worldwide over the next year.
Although the Government has said it remains too early to suggest how many Irish-based jobs could be created, Richard Bruton, the enterprise minister, said that “between our climate, skills base and existing strengths in ICT, we have the potential to reap substantial benefits in terms of jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector”.
“Establishing an industry- led technology centre in this sector will ensure that the major research strengths we have built up over the past decade are directed firmly towards viable business ideas and ultimately jobs,” he said.
In addition, the Irish Management Institute (IMI) — with UCC and technology firms EMC and SAS — announced the establishment of the world’s first masters in data business programme, which is designed to help business leaders better understand big data and use it to grow their enterprise.
Programmes will run in Cork and Dublin over the coming year.
“The Government has clearly recognised the employment potential of big data in Ireland; we now need to advance the links between enterprise and academia to support the skills needed in our economy around data analytics,” said Dr Simon Boucher, IMI chief operating officer.