Industry Collaboration Highlights Unique Opportunity

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Students in Notre Dame’s Entrepreneurship Master’s Program have benefitted greatly this year through an emphasis on industry partnerships.  20% of current ESTEEM students work with companies for their capstone thesis projects exploring commercialization opportunities for new or emerging technologies that those companies are developing.

ESTEEM Student Alison with AI representative Simon Cole

Alison O’Shea is one of ESTEEM’s current class working on an industry sponsored project.  The company is Belfast-based Automated Intelligence (AI).  A Microsoft Gold Partner, AI develops software solutions that help organizations solve their big data problems, as well as enhancing the governance controls they can apply to their data.  As the next phase of their product development, AI aims to discover new ways to efficiently analyze and manage extremely large quantities of unstructured data.

The unique opportunities that have emerged from this partnership offer a benefit not only to the company but also to the student and the ESTEEM Program as a whole.

When speaking of the collaboration, Simon Cole, CTO at Automated Intelligence said, “the research being carried out as part of the ESTEEM Program is going to be vital to AI taking the next big steps in Big Data analysis… We are very excited to be working with the University as we pioneer new techniques and successfully deliver value to our customers in existing and new markets.”

Alison O’Shea, who is a University College Cork engineering graduate, was selected to lead the research project and has also found the experience to offer great value to her time in the program.  She says, “Working with AI has allowed me to understand how technology development and innovation fit into a quickly growing company.  This project has given me the opportunity to be creative, to interface with many different types of employees in the business and to develop a completely new skill set in the emerging field of Big Data.”

Overall, the Director of the Program, Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship for the Colleges of Engineering and Science David Murphy, has been pleased with the addition of industry-sponsored projects in that they allow the students to solve real-world problems and gain the practical experience they will need in the workforce – be that in a startup or in an established company.  Concerning the collaboration with Automated Intelligence, he says, “The ESTEEM Program and the entire university community is excited to be able to work closely with AI to deliver an exceptional academic experience for one of our graduate students as well as helping to validate and accelerate the commercialization of research.”

The ESTEEM (engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, excellence masters) Program is currently in its sixth year and offers a unique Master’s experience focused upon the commercialization of innovation technology and research.  The program is an 11-month interdisciplinary Master’s Program founded as a collaboration between Notre Dame’s Colleges of Engineering, Science, and the Mendoza College of Business.