RealTime IT News

Lucent Extends R&D Roots

Lucent's Bell Labs research arm and the Irish government are establishing a new R&D center in Dublin as part of a public-private partnership that will focus on telecom and supply-chain technologies.

As part of the announcement, Lucent has also partnered with nine Irish universities and institutes for a joint research program to be run out of Trinity College in Dublin. The structure of the agreement with Trinity College and other schools is similar to Bell Labs' partnership with Rutgers University, which seeks advances in nanotechnology.

Together, the center and college efforts could support up to 120 engineers and scientists. The total backing by Lucent and government economic development agencies is about $84 million.

"[Ireland's] goals and initiatives, both in-country and as part of the European Union, are to advance state-of-the-art R&D," Lucent spokesman Rich Teplitsky said. Echoing this sentiment is William C. Harris, director general of the Science Foundation Ireland. "This investment will act both to attract additional industrial research initiatives into Ireland and as a catalyst for the creation of future technology startups in Ireland," he said in a statement.

In the last decade, Ireland has been building a knowledge economy. With its highly educated, English-speaking workforce, many U.S. IT companies have chosen to use the country as a launching pad into the larger European market.

Among those with a significant presence in Ireland include storage leader EMC , chipmaker Intel and software leader Microsoft .

Lucent already has about 500 employees on the island nation and about 5,000 throughout Europe. But adding Bell Labs signals a further commitment to the country.

Bell Labs has earned more than 30,000 patents since 1925 and has had a hand in the development of transistors, lasers and fiber optics, digital networking, signal processing and cellular technologies, among others.