The group pictured at the Raise launch in UL
Announcing details of the R@ISE (Research at Immersive Software Engineering) funding at University of Limerick were, Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President of Research, UL, Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD, Professor Tiziana Margaria, Lead applicant of R@ISE, Councillor Francis Foley, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick and Professor Kerstin Mey, President, University of Limerick Picture: Alan Place
Tuesday, 4 April 2023

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, TD, has today announced a €5.87 million investment in a University of Limerick-led research project investigating low-code/no-code approaches in software engineering – where developers can design applications with no to minimum knowledge in coding – for solutions in data management, privacy and security.

R@ISE (Research at Immersive Software Engineering) has been awarded €2.3 million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which will be matched by partners such as Analog Devices, Stripe, Tines, Johnson & Johnson, and Limerick City and County Council.

The project will be led by Professor Tiziana Margaria, Chair of Software Systems and co-director of Immersive Software Engineering at University of Limerick and was launched at an event today on campus attended by Minister Collins and Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland.

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins, said: “I congratulate the team involved in the R@ISE Strategic Partnership. It is an excellent example of collaborative research bringing Local Government, Industry and Academia together. The Government is committed to supporting cutting-edge research that will bring both societal and economic benefits, and I am excited to see the potential of the R@ISE programme to transform the software development industry.”

Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President of Research at UL, said: “University of Limerick is delighted to host this significant research programme, which aims to augment global low-code/no-code capability and provide businesses with new ways to design software applications quickly and with minimal hand-coding. The programme builds on UL’s ground-breaking collaboration with some of the world’s most innovative technology companies and on UL’s long-standing strengths in software engineering and directly supports UL’s strategic goal of enabling a Smart Society through the evolution of digital technology to benefit businesses and citizens.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “SFI are delighted to support this exciting new research project through our Strategic Partnership Programme. The R@ISE project is an excellent example of effective collaboration between academia and industry, where both partners can benefit, and neither can achieve the ambitious joint research objectives alone. The project adopts a really innovative approach to software engineering that is agile and adaptable and, at the same time, reliable and robust.”

Martin Cotter, SVP Industrial and Multi-Markets, Analog Devices, said: “Research, development, and innovation are at the heart of our core beliefs at Analog Devices. We are committed to advancing the impact software has on industry. I would like to congratulate the R@ISE team on this accomplishment as a testament to your dedication and hard work in the field of software research. We are looking forward to collaborating with the team and our partners on the known challenges we face today and the unknown challenges we will face tomorrow.”

The proposed research will directly produce an advanced software development and integration platform, in collaboration with the industry and international partners, co-designed by 22 PhD students and 4 Postdoctoral Fellows and help to mitigate the current challenge of a shortage of software developers to support digital transformation. The research also supports UL’s Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) BSc and MSc programme, and it is hoped the research will be strategically relevant for Ireland and the global economy.

Professor Tiziana Margaria, the R@ISE project leader, said: “The new low-code/no-code (LC/NC) model-driven approach – as proposed by R@ISE – is an alternative to conventional software development where developers, as well as non-developers, are equipped with the tools to design, develop, verify and deploy applications quickly and with none to minimum coding requirements.”

Currently, governments worldwide have been using LC/NC tools to manage the spread of COVID-19. The LC/NC approaches would be used to speed up the delivery of software applications. It is predicted that LC methods will account for over 65% of application development activity by 2024.