Overview

Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, brings together expert software teams from universities and institutes of technology across Ireland in a co-ordinated centre of research excellence with a strong industry focus. Lero’s research spans a wide range of application domains from driverless cars to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, govtech, smart communities, agtech and healthtech.

Hosted by University of Limerick, Lero’s academic partners include Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Maynooth University, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, Institute of Technology Tralee, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology.

Lero’s overall vision is to establish Ireland as a location synonymous with high-quality software research and development, to the extent that ‘Irish software’ can enter the lexicon in the same way as ‘German automotive’ or ‘Scandinavian design’.

As the world’s second largest software exporter, Ireland is recognised internationally as a leading location for companies in the software sector and Lero is a key pillar of that. Fifteen out of the top 20 global technology firms have strategic operations in Ireland. Since it was founded in 2005, Lero has become one of the best-known, and most highly regarded, software research centres in the world.

Lero engages with a wide range of industry, state agencies, educational bodies and international collaborators to deliver on its twin goals of research excellence and social and economic relevance. The centre is supported by a Research Centre grant from SFI, by other state grants, by industry contributions and by external funding (particularly the EU’s research programmes). The centre has the proven capacity to attract and retain global research leaders and to make a substantial contribution both to software-related research and to the Irish economy.

Vision and Mission

Vision

Lero’s overall vision is to establish Ireland as a location synonymous with high quality software research and development, to the extent that ‘Irish software’ can enter the lexicon in the same way as ‘German automotive’ or ‘Scandinavian design’.

Thanks to consistent industrial policy over many years, Ireland has become a global centre for software development. Software engineers and developers represent between 5 and 10% of Ireland’s workforce. A significant proportion of Irish start-up companies are software-based and there is a thriving ecosystem emerging across the country.

Globally, software-based systems are increasingly important to economic activity and to the normal functioning of our everyday lives. The scope, scale and interconnected nature of such systems are increasing rapidly, with the potential consequences of failure, security breaches or malfunction becoming a growing cause of concern. Furthermore, the people, development processes, standards and professional practices by which software-based systems are produced and deployed are inconsistent and frequently inadequate. Failure to address this looming crisis increases the probability of more serious and impactful software-based failures.

Mission

Lero’s mission is to provide the research basis for the Irish software community to become international leaders. Lero is focused on advancing the state-of-the-art in software engineering and related topics. Our research is focused on how software comes into being and how it evolves over time, with an emphasis on reliability, security and fitness-for-purpose. Working with a range of industry partners, Lero’s research is focused on helping to improve the quality of software across a broad range of factors and applications, as well as producing a stream of highly-qualified software practitioners for the future. The key goal is to improve the practice of software development, thus improving the effectiveness, reliability and security of software and the productivity of the people producing it.

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