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Ulster University secures £5 million investment

Ulster University’s prominence in the field of Data Analytics and artificial intelligence has been further boosted through a significant donation to establish the Dr George Moore Chair in Data Analytics. This position will play a pivotal role in further elevating Ulster University’s world-leading work in this field, at the Magee campus.

Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor, Ulster University with Angela Moore

Angela Moore, the wife of the one of the founding fathers of the data analytics industry Dr George Moore, has donated £5 million to Ulster University to further enhance its impact as a global data analytics centre of excellence in memory of her husband.

In the University’s largest philanthropic donation from one individual, the £5 million contribution will enable the establishment of the Dr George Moore Chair in Data Analytics. The Chair will be a stellar, world-class academic, who will lead an innovative research team responding dynamically to the real-world needs of data analytics.

In recognition of Mrs Moore’s gift, Ulster University will recruit an associated research fellow and 3 PhD students who will contribute to revolutionising global AI and data analytics research.

Ulster University is already recognised as a world-leader in data analytics research.  Research in this field has never been more important, with 90 per cent of the data in the world today being created in the last two years. The global potential to revolutionise global data analytics research, enabled through a legacy of this scale and associated to Dr Moore, a trailblazer in data analytics, is vast.

Dr George Moore, born in County Louth, left Ireland in 1972 and established Targus Information, a world leading data analytics service provider, whose technologies are used by many Fortune 500 companies.

A visionary businessman, Dr Moore predicted the explosion of information that would follow the creation of the internet and his genius was to recognise the commercial value of harnessing this information though data analytics.

Ulster University awarded Dr George Moore an honorary doctorate in 2005 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to society and his global impact on the field of data analytics.

The Dr George Moore Chair in Data Analytics will be based at Ulster University’s Magee campus which has a notable history of philanthropy*.

It will build on Ulster University’s twenty-year track record of research excellence in intelligent systems. Across the University there are already over 60 academics contributing to research in artificial intelligence and data analytics.  In March 2017, the University committed a further £4million to the development of Northern Ireland’s first centre targeted on data analytics. The Cognitive Analytics Research Laboratory focuses on applied research through engagement with global academic and industry partners.

Recent investments at Ulster University aligned with the work of the Cognitive Analytics Research Lab include; £11million in the Centre for Stratified Medicine, £5million in Functional Brain Mapping facility, €4.5million in Meaningful Integration of Data, Analytics and Services, £1million in Capital Markets Collaboration and €8.6million funding for the Centre for Precision Medicine – using data to improve Clinical Decision Making and Patient Safety.

Speaking at the launch event at the University’s Magee campus, Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice –Chancellor of Ulster University commented;

“Ulster University is delighted to be associated with the legacy of one of the founding fathers of data analytics, Dr George Moore. He was a true pioneer for data analytics and his interests in innovation, economic development particularly in Northern Ireland and his businesses successes are an inspiration to many.

Philanthropy is increasingly important given recent economic developments and it is private donations such as Angela’s which can transform our work, and realise, without compromise, our ambitions. The generous donation from Angela will create a transformative opportunity to establish an internationally recognised research programme and provide opportunities for the best and brightest minds to build a career in the field of data analytics and lead the way to deliver solutions to some of our greatest challenges.”

The family of Dr George Moore visited the new £11million teaching centre at the Magee campus which opened its doors to students in 2018, funded by the Department for the Economy. At the launch event, Programme Director for The Alan Turing Institute-Defence and Security partnership Dr Mark Briers spoke to students and staff of Ulster University and industry stakeholders on the future of data analytics.

Angela Moore commented; “I am delighted to be at Ulster University’s Magee campus to celebrate the establishment of the Dr. George Moore Chair in Data Analytics, named for my late husband. This is a field that George was a leader in back in his day, and it is a great fit that the University has an established reputation as a global leader in revolutionizing data analytics research and impact. This is a university that is willing to take risks, to be brave and to innovate.

“It is for all of these reasons I chose to make an investment in memory of George. I understand that philanthropy is very important so universities are able to enhance their work and realise their ambitions.  I believe it is important for all of us, big and small, to give back and pay it forward.”

Recruitment for the Dr George Moore Chair in Data Analytics has already commenced and selection is ongoing.