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30 November 2011
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4C is a UCC computer science research lab whose mission is to help computers help people make better decisions. 4C combines award winning science with active industry and government engagement. 4C was formed when Professor Freuder moved his research lab from the US, to merge with the UCC Constraint Processing Group.

TreeMetrics is a local Cork start-up with laser technology for measuring trees in the forest. Through an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership 4C has helped TreeMetrics to convert that data into knowledge that permits better use of our forest resources, not just in Ireland but worldwide. TreeMetrics has now done business in 14 countries, exporting Irish technology. There have been three pieces of IP licensed from this project and a patent submitted. TreeMetrics continues to work with 4C to develop innovative solutions for forest management.

The CEO of TreeMetrics was quoted in Technology Ireland about 4C saying:"We found out by pure chance that there was a world-leading optimisation lab in our own city and we quickly picked up the phone. ... The most important point is, they delivered the technology for us - it has given us a real edge. They delivered what we wanted and exceeded our expectations in terms of how they delivered it. ... We brought them to meet our customers. That was one of the keys to success."

The collaboration has led to further engagement by 4C in the forestry sector. 4C have just started to work with 13 other partners across Europe in an EU FP7 project, FlexWood, to enable better use of timber resources. The project aims to determine the optimal ways of cutting a forest and distributing its products effectively, and in particular to reduce wastage, which is currently estimated at €700 million annually across Europe. Crucial to this research is the technology provided by TreeMetrics to scan standing trees for their shape.

4C and TreeMetrics won an it@cork R&D Project Leaders Award and TreeMetrics were the overall winner of the IBM SmartCamp Ireland 2009.