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ArcLabs Building, WIT West Campus, Carriganore, Co Waterford, Ireland
TSSG NetLabs Building, WIT West Campus, Carriganore, Co Waterford, Ireland

The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) is a large Irish information and communications technologies (ICT) research institute in Waterford Institute of Technology. It is based in the WIT West Campus, having brought in the funding for the two research buildings located there: ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre (opened 2005), combining the TSSG with incubation and innovation space,[1] formally opened by the Taoiseach in October 2006 (note that this combined Enterprise Ireland and Higher Education Authority funding),[2] and NetLabs (opened 2011, used Higher Education Authority funding),[3] formally opened by Minister of Education in March 2014.

The TSSG was established in 1996 by Willie Donnelly and Eamonn de Leastar. They were joined later by Mícheál Ó Foghlú and Barry Downes to form the executive team. Thus Willie, Eamonn, Mícheál and Barry are co-founders of the TSSG. [4] Initially the group was focused on applied research funded by a series of EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development projects. The first project was DIFFERENCE.[5] The TSSG has retained this emphasis on EU funding, engaging in large number of projects in FP5, FP6 and FP7, the most recent large EU project led by the TSSG is SOCIETIES.[6] The group built on this foundation to address basic research, funded by Higher Education Authority PRTLI programme projects M-Zones[7] and FutureComm (Serving Society),[8] and by a series of Science Foundation Ireland projects including FAME.[9] In parallel the TSSG strengthened its focus on industry, particularly through commercialisation activity funded by Enterprise Ireland (e.g. IMS-ARCS[10]). As well as licensing technology to existing companies the TSSG has been actively engaged in the creation of over 10 start-up companies such as FeedHenry[11] and Zolk C[12] creating over 100 additional jobs directly in the region.[13]

The TSSG has grown in size since it was established employed over 100 staff and students from 2004 onwards, funded by an active portfolio of between 30 and 40 research projects at any one time. In its history it has brought in €65 million of funding from over 160 individual projects.[14]

The TSSG is actively engaged in standards groups in general, and has been a member of the W3C[15] and the Telemanagement Forum,[16] and is helping to steer the Future Internet agenda in Europe as a partner and member of a number of European Technology Platforms (Net!Works,[17] NEM,[18] NESSI[19]) and strategic groups of Industry collaborators including the Future Internet Assembly (FIA)[20] and ETSI.[21]

The TSSG ethos continues to be an attempt to straddle all of these types of activity, each with its own priorities, to ensure the continued relevance of its research and development activities. This Innovation Model was formally documented in a submission to the Irish Innovation Task Force in 2009, but draws on its much longer history of innovation.[22]

In 2010 Mícheál Ó Foghlú took a leave of absence from the TSSG to join the TSSG spinout FeedHenry Ltd.[23]and in 2014 published his personal perspective on the history of the TSSG.[24] In total TSSG has created 15 start-ups since its inception and 12 since 2006.[25] The TSSG also provides a wide range of innovation services to start-ups and multinationals, particularly those based in Ireland, and as of 2014 completes around 40 or more direct industry innovation projects a year.[26]

In 2011 the TSSG restructured into a series of Research Units (RUs)[27] that each have active basic, applied and commercial activity. More narrowly focused units are called groups rather than units, usually driven by a single funding source rather than the full mix.

  • Mobile Services[28]
  • 3MT (Mobile, Messaging & Middleware) – Full lifecycle of integrated services, Inter-discipline service management research, cognitive mechanisms, federation, virtual infrastructure & cloud computing[29]
  • Data Mining and Social Computing[30]
  • Design and Usability[31]
  • ENL (Emerging Networks Laboratory)[32]

These units collaborate on larger projects, and bring in funding to strategically grow each of these research areas.

In 2012, the TSSG restructured its management team and the TSSG is now led by Prof. Willie Donnelly as Director and Barry Downes as CEO [33] and supported by a Senior Management Team.[34]

In March 2014, Ruairi Quinn, Minister for Education, officially opened NetLabs, as part of the Research & Innovation cluster of WIT's West Campus.[35]


  1. ^ ArcLabs http://www.arclabs.ie
  2. ^ TSSG Press Release 16 October 2006 http://www.tssg.org/2006/10/taoiseach-opens-arclabs-wits-research-innovation-centre-where-the-tssg-is-located/
  3. ^ TSSG Announces HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 Capital Funding http://www.tssg.org/archives/2007/08/hea-prtli-cycle-4.html
  4. ^ Dr Willie Donnelly Profile http://www.tssg.org/about/people/dr-willie-donnelly/
  5. ^ DIFFERENCE EU ACTS FP4 http://www.tssg.org/archives/portfolio/difference
  6. ^ SOCIETIES EU ICT IP FP7 http://www.ict-societies.eu/
  7. ^ M-Zones HEA PRTLI Cycle 3 http://www.m-zones.org
  8. ^ FutureComm HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 http://futurecomm.tssg.org
  9. ^ FAME SFI SRC http://www.fame.ie
  10. ^ IMS-ARCS EI ILRP http://www.ims-arcs.com/
  11. ^ FeedHenry http://www.feedhenry.com
  12. ^ Zolk C http://www.zolkc.com
  13. ^ TSSG Industrial Engagement http://www.tssg.org/industry-engagement.html
  14. ^ About the TSSG http://www.tssg.org/about.html
  15. ^ W3C http://www.w3.org
  16. ^ TM Forum http://www.tmforum.org
  17. ^ Net!Works EU TP http://www.networks-etp.eu/
  18. ^ NEM EU TP http://www.nem-initiative.org/
  19. ^ NESSI EU TP http://www.nessi-europe.com/
  20. ^ FIA http://www.future-internet.eu/home/future-internet-assembly.html
  21. ^ ETSI http://www.etsi.org/WebSite/homepage.aspx
  22. ^ TSSG's Innovation Model http://www.tssg.org/research/innovation/
  23. ^ FeedHenry Ltd http://www.feedhenry.com/
  24. ^ Personal perspective on TSSG, Mícheál Ó Foghlú http://blog.ofoghlu.net/2014/09/02/tssg-18-years-on/
  25. ^ TSSG Spin-outs http://www.tssg.org/industry/spin-outs/
  26. ^ TSSG Industry Services http://www.tssg.org/industry/services/
  27. ^ TSSG Research Units http://www.tssg.org/research.html
  28. ^ TSSG RU Mobile Services http://www.tssg.org/research/units/mobile-services/
  29. ^ TSSG RU 3MT http://www.tssg.org/research/units/3MT
  30. ^ TSSG RU Data Mining and Social Computing http://www.tssg.org/research/units/data-mining-social-computing.html
  31. ^ TSSG RU Design and Usability http://www.tssg.org/research/units/design-and-usability-team/
  32. ^ TSSG RU ENL http://www.tssg.org/research/units/emerging-networks-laboratory/
  33. ^ TSSG Management http://www.tssg.org/about/people/barry-downes/
  34. ^ TSSG Senior Management Team http://www.tssg.org/about/people/
  35. ^ TSSG Press Release, NetLabs Opening, March 2014, https://www.tssg.org/2014/03/telecoms-research-group-to-help-create-600-jobs-by-2020/

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