WIT’s Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG), the software technology research centre that employs over 120 people in Ireland with offices in Waterford and Kilkenny, was named ISA Outstanding Academic Achievement of the Year Award at the annual Irish Software Association (ISA) industry awards this weekend.
TSSG is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and innovation and carry out a wide spectrum of industry-informed ICT research, particularly technologies enabling communications and information services.
Over the past five years, TSSG has delivered innovative solutions to over 110 Irish companies, and has created 16 spin out companies in the South East including the award winning FeedHenry, which was acquired earlier this year by Red Hat Inc. for over $83 million. TSSG has engaged with over 425 partners across 35 countries worldwide, on collaborative research projects. TSSG’s partners include Nokia, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent – as well as Tier 1 operators including Telefónica/O2, T-Mobile, T-Systems (a division of Deutsche Telekom), Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Telenor Group and Portugal Telecom and many more.
Commenting on the win, Barry Downes CEO of TSSG and Founder of FeedHenry said, “TSSG believes that truly great academic research should achieve marketplace commercialisation through practical application. TSSG’s mission is to leverage the excellence in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship of the entire organisation to deliver innovative research and commercial results for industry partners. Mr Downes went on to say “TSSG has a proven track record in translating world class research into market ready products and services and has established an eco-system of mobile service companies in the South East Region and beyond, creating several hundred jobs directly and indirectly in the last ten years.”
“FeedHenry now fulfils TSSG’s long-term strategy of completing a full life cycle from research to commercialisation right through to the purchase of one of our spinouts. The acquisition of FeedHenry marks a great achievement from all involved, and the impact of this will be far reaching for the ICT ecosystem in the South-East.”
The indigenous software technology sector has 730 companies, employing more than 12,000 people, with sales in excess of €1.9 billion every year. Over 70 of Ireland’s leading software and digital technology firms entered this year’s awards and the winners were announced at an event on Friday in Dublin which was attended by 500 company leaders and national stakeholders from Irish technology companies.
TSSG was the overall winner among four companies shortlisted for the ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Award’. CarTrawler, the software technology company that employs 290 people, was named ISA Digital Technology Company of the Year. Shay Garvey, founding partner of Frontline Ventures, was named ISA Person of the Year 2014. Other award winners were Fenergo, S3 Group, Brite:Bill, Asavie Technologies, Realex Payments, and Intel Ireland.
Jay Bregman, co-founder of taxi app Hailo, was the keynote speaker at the awards and spoke of how Irish SMEs can grow and scale internationally.
In her speech on the night, ISA Chair and Trilogy Technologies Group MD, Edel Creely spoke of the importance of “an eco-system that supports companies looking to grow and scale. Ireland is a small country with big ambitions, ambitions which are matched by the global demand and must be realised to sustain our future”.
“While recent growth figures in the economy are to be welcomed, we must not be complacent” she continued, “We are competing globally on what has become a highly competitive stage. While Ireland has been very successful in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), we have more to do to make this the best country in the world to build and scale an indigenous business.
“Recent comparisons with the UK, have shown how a strong focus on delivering an eco-system that truly supports the entrepreneur – an ecosystem which delivers all of the supports necessary, for the scaling company – can produce highly effective results”
“I wish to congratulate all the winners who fought off stiff competition in their respective category. This year, we received an influx of extremely talented and worthy nominations. The quality of entrants proves to investors at home and abroad that a wealth of knowledge, expertise and incentives exist in Ireland” Ms Creely concluded.
Hazel Williams, Communications, TSSG; Barry Downes, CEO, TSSG; Anthony McCauley, Head of Research, Fujitsu Ireland & Chair of the ISIN Steering Committee; Willie Donnelly, Founder, TSSG & Head of Research, WIT; Edel Creely, MD, Trilogy Technologies & ISA Chair; Kevin Doolin, COO, TSSG; Mick O’Brien, Tech Lead, Mobile Services, TSSG.