Business Information Systems and Virtual Technology Focus of Major International

Friday, 6 June 2008

Over 400 delegates from 32 countries will visit NUI Galway from 9-11 June for the '16th European Conference on Information Systems'. The conference is being hosted by the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and will address emerging technology trends in business and society. A key conference topic will be 'virtual worlds' and the extent to which such computer-based simulated environments present real opportunities for businesses and educational institutions. IBM and IRCSET (The Irish Research Council for Science and Engineering Technology), in conjunction with researchers at CISC in NUI Galway have recently embarked on a new project to leverage virtual world technology. The project's aim is to link academic researchers and industrialists for value creation through innovation and collaboration. One of the researchers on this project will be Johan Gorecki, who was a member of the start-up team at Skype, and is now pursuing a PhD within CISC at NUI Galway. Speaking about the upcoming event, conference chair Dr. Willie Golden, Director of NUI Galway's CISC, commented, "Virtual technology is a truly exciting research area as it becomes increasingly sophisticated, moving from online games such as Second Life to use in an organisational setting. Companies such as Reebok, Wells Fargo, and Toyota have begun to explore virtual worlds as a potential space for open innovation. Bringing a prestigious international conference of this magnitude to NUI Galway will help facilitate the exchange of leading edge research and ideas". According to Brian O'Donovan, Program Director of the IBM Dublin Centre for Advanced Studies, and a participant at the conference, over 20,000 IBM staff are already active in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenWorlds. These worlds are used as collaborative environments for learning, training, corporate announcements, conferences, alumni meetings, commerce – 'vBusiness', recruitment, simulation, visualisation, and modelling. The keynote address at the conference will be by Richard Schroth, a 2008 Fulbright Senior Scholar, Information Sciences and one of the top 25 consultants globally as named by Consulting Magazine. For further information about the conference visit http://www.ecis2008.ie/
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