Cambridge Computer Lab nabs only UK Google Focused Research Award

The University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, headed up by Professor Andy Hopper (pictured), is the only University body outside of the US to be given one of the first Google Focused Research Awards.

The Awards provide unrestricted grants for two-to-three years to fund research across four areas: machine learning, the use of mobile phones as data collection devices for public health and environment monitoring, energy efficiency in computing, and privacy.

The grant awarded to the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory will support its ‘Computing for the Future of the Planet’ research initiative led by the lab’s head - and IET board of trustees vice president - Professor Hopper. The award will fund work around harnessing information from many different sources, and sensors to monitor and understand the changing environment and use of resources. This includes the ‘willingness to share personal information on energy use, and the potential impact on privacy’.

In addition to the funding, the University will have access to Google tools, technologies and expertise, Professor Hopper says: “The nature of these awards, which place no restrictions or constraints on the funded research, will help to stimulate true innovation and accelerate the development of new ideas and practical solutions, [as well as] strengthen relationships between industry and academia”.

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