Article

30/01/2007

“We have to invent a new way to care for our planet’s aging population. Current healthcare systems are not equipped to face the epidemic of age-related illnesses and injuries that are coming. Information and communication technologies offer us a means to prevent disease and injury, to detect problems earlier before they become catastrophes, to help older people better manage their own health conditions at home, and to personalize care to their unique needs and preferences. All of us will benefitEric Dishman, General Manager of Intel’s Health Research and Innovation Group

Intel Ireland Limited

Intel and IDA Ireland to invest $30 million in innovative research
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Tuesday 30th January 2007) announced that Intel Corporation is to set up a Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) Centre in Ireland. The centre, which is supported by IDA Ireland, will involve significant research capabilities to address the challenges of ‘independent living’ for older people.

Approximately $30 million will be invested in the TRIL Centre over a period of three years and Intel will collaborate with several leading Irish universities, including UCD, TCD and NUI Galway to create one of the largest research efforts of this type in the world.

The TRIL Centre brings together world-class industry and academic experts who are inventing and testing new technologies with older people, and their families, to support them in continuing to live independently. The TRIL Centre will focus on three key areas: improving social health and community engagement for older people, detecting and preventing falls in the home, and helping those with memory loss to maintain their independence. These research areas are important as a decline in physical and cognitive or mental performance associated with becoming older is often coupled with a decline in self-confidence and in social interactions. Age related physical decline includes an increased risk in falls and fall-related injuries, which are a major cause of concern for older people and indeed a major public health concern worldwide.

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister Martin said: “This Research Centre will be of outstanding strategic value to Ireland in terms of collaborative work between leading academic institutions and Intel Corporation. The research to be carried out in this area will involve significant skills development and knowledge acquisition. Ireland has an active, high-quality research sector in the healthcare domain including bio-engineering and bio-informatics. The TRIL centre will build on this and position Ireland as a centre of excellence for this type in research in Europe.”

“IDA Ireland worked closely with Intel to win this project for Ireland. Digital health has been identified by Intel Corporation as a strategic area for the future and today’s announcement is a milestone for Ireland in terms of our potential to become a world centre, not just for ageing but also for other digital health projects. We are delighted that Intel, one of our leading multinational companies chose Ireland for its Digital Health Centre. Its endorsement significantly enhances our reputation as a location for substantive R&D” added Minister Martin.

Commenting on the launch today Eric Dishman, General Manager of Intel’s Health Research and Innovation Group, said “We have to invent a new way to care for our planet’s aging population. Current healthcare systems are not equipped to face the epidemic of age-related illnesses and injuries that are coming. Information and communication technologies offer us a means to prevent disease and injury, to detect problems earlier before they become catastrophes, to help older people better manage their own health conditions at home, and to personalize care to their unique needs and preferences. All of us will benefit from these kinds of technologies, first as caregivers for our own aging parents and, if we’re lucky, for ourselves some day.”

“The TRIL Centre is about building and accelerating research collaborations to test these independent living technologies with elders in Ireland and throughout Europe. This is one of our planet’s most pressing social and economic issues; it deserves and demands our attention, our investment, and all of the technology innovation that we can imagine”, Eric added.

The implications of TRIL may extend beyond the elderly population, with the potential of its research offering hope to individuals affected by disabilities, which inhibit their ability to live with dignity and prosperity in their own preferred environments.

The TRIL Centre is part of a wider global approach by Intel to build on its current U.S. ageing research and expand its understanding of the social and cultural differences of the ageing demographics of Europe – ensuring the development of the most appropriate technologies suitable for a wider multi-cultural audience. Intel recently formed Health Research and Innovation Europe (HRIe) team, their first health research innovation resource outside the United States, based at Intel’s European manufacturing headquarters in Ireland.

The combination of a young, educated workforce with access to the rapidly ageing population of Europe, coupled with Intel’s research and development investment, offers Ireland a unique opportunity to take a strong leadership role in the development of home health technology and services industry. With the market set to explode in the coming decades, the TRIL Centre presents an opportunity of vast economic growth in Ireland as new, technology-enabled care services emerge to help improve the aging experience for everyone.

For further information, please visit: www.trilcentre.org