July 29, 2021
Business News

It’s in our DNA! Waterford researchers lead digital technology revolution

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) research centres have landed a prestigious national award.

An innovative project by TSSG and PMBRC was announced as winner of the ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in the field of Digital Technology’ at the Technology Ireland Industry Awards.

The awards, which took place at the Mansion House in Dublin last Friday, are considered the most coveted awards ceremony within the Irish technology sector.

Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Director of Research in TSSG and Dr Lee Coffey, Principal Investigator in Molecular Biology in the PMBRC and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in TSSG, proudly accepted the award.

The project, titled ‘Digital DNA Storage Infrastructure of the Future’, involves an infrastructure that supports encoding of digital transformation in DNA, which will lead to a new form of data storage for the future. This research has also featured on RTE News as well as the prestigious MIT Tech Review publication

Speaking after the win, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam expressed his appreciation for being chosen as a winner “This project really demonstrates the cutting edge multi-disciplinary ICT research that is being conducted in TSSG, looking in particular to how ICT should look 10 or even 20 years from today. This also demonstrates how blue-sky research can lead to possible technologies that industry can use in the future.”

Also attending the ceremony was Prof Wille Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology and founder of TSSG. The president congratulated both Dr Balasubramaniam and Dr Coffey on winning this accolade.

Prof Donnelly said: “It’s a fantastic achievement and recognition of the institute’s international leadership in research excellence.” This follows the PBMRC Research and Development award at the Pharma Industry awards 2019 for the second year running.

The project, funded by Huawei, has the capability to store the resonant equivalent of 70 billion copies of books into a single gram of DNA, and this technique is set to revolutionize the field of data storage.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured, second from left, are Dr Lee Coffey, Prof Willie Donnelly and Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam from Waterford Institute of Technology

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