Mexican Ambassador visits CONNECT Centre

4 February 2016

The Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Carlos García De Alba, has praised the FORGE project at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity which allows undergraduate students in Mexico to access European telecommunications testbed infrastructure, including the smart reconfigurable radio testbed at CONNECT’s headquarters at Dunlop Oriel House in Trinity. CONNECT is the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for Future Networks and Communications.

Speaking during his visit to CONNECT, the Ambassador said, “FORGE is an excellent example of partnership between Mexican and European third level institutes. It is providing a wonderful opportunity to Mexican computer science students to experiment with state-of-the-art technology in Trinity. The plans for future growth and expansion are ambitious. FORGE is a positive addition to the academic infrastructure in Mexico. I wish the project every success.”

Trinity is among seven universities in Europe and Australia to make its high performance testbed facilities available for remote experimentation. Prof Luiz DaSilza, from Trinity's School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, is FORGE’s Principal Investigator in Trinity.

Dr Johann M. Marquez-Barja, Senior Research Fellow at the CONNECT Centre and Technical Lead on the FORGE project in Trinity, Prof Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT, and Mr Carlos GarcĂ­a De Alba, Mexican Ambassador to Ireland

Ambassador Garciá De Alba also met with Centre Director, Prof Linda Doyle, and Dr Johann M Marquez-Barja, Technical Lead for FORGE in Trinity and Senior Research Fellow at CONNECT. Dr Marquez-Barja explained the practical benefits of FORGE to the Ambassador, “since its launch in October 2015, FORGE has enabled dozens of computer science undergraduates at I.T. Mexicali, in the Baja California region of Mexico, to access Trinity’s cutting-edge telecommunications facilities. This has allowed students to perform telecommunications experiments remotely. It is a very powerful piece of research infrastructure. After a pilot phase at I.T. Mexicali, we plan to widen this project to include over 200 third level institutes across Mexico.”

There has been a warm welcome for FORGE from the Mexican academic community. Mr Mauro Quintero, Director of the Tecnólogico Nacional de México (TecNM), the largest engineering university in Mexico with over half a million students, said, “the FORGE project is an extraordinary opportunity to integrate remote experimentation into TecNM’s courses through the use of these state-of-the-art European laboratories.”

Mr Francisco Javier Ortiz Serrano, Principal of the TecNM campus at I.T. Mexicali, is also a strong supporter of FORGE and has appointed Dr Arnoldo Diaz-Ramirez to lead the development of the college’s Wireless Communication course which makes use of FORGE infrastructure.

The CONNECT Centre for Future Networks and Communications is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. CONNECT is led by 10 Principal Investigators and 35 Funded Investigators at 10 academic institutions around Ireland.  FORGE has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 610889.

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