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FSIC partners with Bank of Ireland in a unique research partnership

Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Micheal Martin T.D announced a unique research partnership between Bank of Ireland and UCC’s Financial Services Innovation Centre in Cork today (18th April 2008).

As the first Innovation Partnership involving a financial services company, this collaborative research project has a 2 year funding package of €500k – 50% of which was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and the remainder by Enterprise Ireland who fund and manage the national Innovation Partnership initiative.

Bank of Ireland have agreed a number of research streams with the Financial Services Innovation Centre which will investigate how technology can be used to improve service in these areas; the secure delivery of financial services to bank customers, integrating self-service systems in bank branches, using technology to increase operational effectiveness in branches and to manage document handling across the bank branch network.

Making the announcement Minister Martin said: “This is an exciting development in Ireland’s research sector as it is the first Irish collaborative project involving a financial services company. Bank of Ireland will benefit from tailored, researched solutions to their specific technological challenges while the researchers in the FSIC will build up their cumulative knowledge of the needs of companies in the banking sector and bring them to bear on future projects which I am sure will arise as a result of this unique collaboration.

According to Richie Boucher, Chief Executive, Retail Financial Services Ireland, Bank of Ireland: “We believe that one of our key differentiators in the market is our unrelenting focus on constantly improving our service to customers, regardless of how they choose to do business with us. We have always had strong connections with universities in Ireland and we believe that funding for innovation research, under the auspices of the FSIC, is an exciting and important initiative for building on and improving our service to customers and to the wider financial services marketplace”.

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership is expected to create six new research posts at UCC’s Financial Services Innovation Centre.

Professor Ciaran Murphy, leader of the research team at the FSIC said: “We are delighted to partner with Bank of Ireland in researching these topical areas. The financial services industry has the highest proportion of spend on IT system and process projects globally and it is important they leverage this spend to provide new and enhanced services to their customers while lowering their internal costs where possible. This joint partnership gives Bank of Ireland the opportunity to research new approaches to serving their internal and external customers better in a collaborative environment focused on delivering industry-leading solutions.”

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