Fujitsu’s Research Collaboration in Ireland Revolutionises Access to Open Data

The Fujitsu DERI, NUI Galway team at the Irish launch of the new Linked Open Data platform (L-R: Anthony McCauley, Head of Research at Fujitsu Ireland; Taka Matsutuka, Research Manager; Aisha Naseer, Senior Researcher; Pierre-Yves Vandenbussche, Lead Researcher; Masatomo Goto, XBRL expert; Terunobu Kume, Senior Researcher)
Apr 17 2013 Posted: 10:14 IST

 World’s leading Platform Enabling Linked Open Data (LOD) Applications Unveiled

Fujitsu, the global ICT giant, today (17 April) announced the first output from its pioneering research collaboration with NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) which could provide the key to unlocking billions of items of Open Data and enable integrated uniform access to academic, government and industry data throughout the web.

In a world-first, the Fujitsu-DERI research team has developed a single access point that enables Linked Open Data (LOD) - which currently exists on different sites and in different formats - to be stored and sorted up to 10 times faster than was previously possible.

The key innovation of the new technology is the ability to easily find and use publically available datasets in order to combine these with other public or private datasets and gain new insights.

A data search function has also been developed enabling users to quickly sort and access data without the need for application developers to trawl through individual sites and process underlying data.

In a demonstration at the XBRL26 International Conference in Dublin on 17 April, Pierre-Yves Vandenbussche, Fujitsu Lead Researcher based at DERI, showed how the new technology can provide, for example, valuable new insights into the financial performance of public corporations. The demonstration quickly and easily compiled company financial information from multiple sources including industry profile, employee numbers, revenues, profits, stock or share price and press coverage (e.g. New York Times articles). Performing this task without the new technology would have required specialist programming techniques or many hours of manual data-gathering.

The technology can be used by end users through a web interface or programatically by application developers. Part of the technology is a search function enabling users to quickly sort and access data in a consistent format without the need for application developers to trawl through individual sites and process underlying data.

Fujitsu intend to make the technology – which is hosted on its global cloud infrastructure – freely available to users and application developers.

Speaking at the launch, Anthony McCauley, Head of Research at Fujitsu in Ireland said: “The initial results are very exciting and it is hoped that the technology will lend itself to multiple applications – from financial appraisal to health breakthroughs by enabling previously separate data sets to be analysed together.”

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Big Data is a sector which is growing at 40% per annum internationally, and offers major potential for jobs and growth in Ireland. That is why we have targeted it as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and recently we established a Technology Centre in this area to bring industry and researchers together to help turn good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement by Fujitsu – a global leader in this field – and DERI – a world-class institution supported by my Department through SFI – represents a hugely exciting development in this area. I congratulate all involved and wish them every success for the future”.

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: “I am delighted that that this project has delivered both best practice industry academia knowledge sharing and a commercially important application. It has also created valuable high-end research jobs and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Fujitsu.

Regina Moran, CEO Fujitsu Ireland, said: “The DERI project was Fujitsu’s first industry-led research collaboration in Ireland and it is fitting that it will now provide the world’s first application platform which has the potential to realise the commercial opportunities presented by linked data. Fujitsu began this project with a commitment to help Ireland become a world leader in technology innovation with strong industry – research ties. The DERI team has made significant breakthroughs in a short period of time and Fujitsu is delighted to lend industry expertise to this collaborative project.

The new technology is the first output of the joint collaboration between Fujitsu and DERI launched in July 2012, supported by the IDA and SFI.


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