BT’s new Belfast center to focus on IoT, AI and 5G
The IoT facility in Northern Ireland will require a total investment of almost $36 million
U.K. telco BT has opened an innovation center in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which will focus on advanced research into the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and data analytics for customer experience, cyber security and 5G communications.
The BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC), will require an estimated investment of £28.6 million ($ 35.8 million) over the next five years.
“Our new Innovation Centre will operate alongside our existing Belfast Global Development Center, the BT Labs in Suffolk, and our global network of technology scouts to further strengthen our research and innovation capability, bringing together industrial engineers and university researchers,” Howard Watson, BT technology, service and operations CEO said.
Invest NI has offered support of £9 million towards the R&D program. “Investment in research and development is critical to future economic growth. As a result of this project, 25 new posts in Ulster University, as well as 50 new roles within BT, will be created, which will generate an additional £1.4 million of annual salaries into the Northern Ireland economy,” Invest NI’s CEO, Alastair Hamilton, said.
Earlier this month, BT and Chinese vendor Huawei announced that they are establishing a new research group at the U.K’s University of Cambridge.
The five-year initiative, which is backed by £25 million in Huawei funding, will see researchers from BT and Huawei working alongside academics from the university.
The new center will focus on photonics, a key component of optical fibre technology, as well as network infrastructure and media technologies. Projects will also focus on the societal impact of communications technologies, including how they can reduce inequality and combat climate change.
The group will kick off activity in the first half of next year, initially involving a team of around five to 10 researchers from the BT and Huawei and an unspecified number of academics.