AT&T puts Cambridge comms lab on the map

AT&T puts Cambridge comms lab on the map
Richard Wilson Cambridge University’s laboratory of communications engineering (LCE) has gained the backing of AT&T, following the US telecoms giant’s acquisition of the former Olivetti & Oracle Research laboratory. AT&T has committed ?30m over the next six years to fund work at its new Cambridge research laboratory, with at least ?1.2m of that going to the University’s LCE, with which the former Olivetti & Oracle Research laboratory has been collaborating for two years. “Over the past five years we have been responsible for over ?100m of inward investment into research at the lab, the University as well as three successful spin-out companies and with AT&T’s backing, we expect this figure to accelerate,” said Professor Andy Hopper, who will head up the renamed AT&T Laboratories-Cambridge. Professor David Newland, head of Cambridge University’s engineering department, believes that AT&T’s involvement will identify Cambridge as a centre for communications research. “I believe that the LCE will rapidly become an international centre of excellence for communications engineering on a par with other leading academic institutions in the US and Europe,” said Newland. Hopper said there would be a “modest” increase in the size of the Cambridge research team from 50 to 70 staff in the next year or so. The group has a background in multimedia systems research, and it is also working on low power radio access systems and innovative electronic tagging technology. He expects both Cambridge laboratories to benefit from research links with AT&T’s world-renowned laboratories in the US. “We are already working closely with teams from New Jersey,” he added. David Nagel, president of AT&T Labs said it was part of a plan to move more research out of the US.


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