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Cork Software Expert Wins National Award with assistance of Cork City Council

 Cork Software Expert Wins National Award

Seated: Barry O'Sullivan, UCC, Lord Mayor Cllr. Donal Counihan, Dr. Alan Holland, UCC

Standing: Cork City Council Recreation, Amenity & Culture staff - Brian Cassidy, Tony Power, Gerard McCarthy, Tony Brauders, Chenjie Zhu and Donal McGrath

Cork City Council is currently working in close co-operation with the Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C) in University College Cork on Ireland’s first ever combinatorial tendering system. This ground-breaking project employs state-of-the-art computational techniques that aim to facilitate improved efficiency and reduced costs for suppliers in a win-win situation for all parties. It is currently being trialled by Cork City Council's Plant and Machinery Department.

This advanced tender system allows suppliers to express more detailed information to the City Council describing the combinations of contracts they would like to be awarded. They can submit conditional prices on packages and constraints on how much/little business they wish to conduct. The 4C research centre, with assistance from Enterprise Ireland, has developed software that will enable tenders and quotations to be analysed in terms of price and/or other constraints that may be imposed by the supplier.

Dr. Alan Holland, of 4C, was a finalist in the 2007 IT@Cork R&D Project Award category and recently won the Irish Software Association’s 2007 Student Medal Award for Ireland’s most commercially viable software project. Alan developed algorithms for winner determination in combinatorial auctions during his PhD and he is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in the 4C research laboratory with Dr. Barry O’Sullivan and Chenjie Zhu. The objective of the project is to ultimately deploy such advanced tendering systems on a commercial basis so that other large purchasing organizations can share the benefits of this approach with their suppliers. Alan stated that the software has the potential to revolutionize the purchasing process for organizations resulting in better value for money for purchasers and reduced costs for suppliers. Brian Cassidy, Senior Executive Engineer, Cork City Council, is very impressed with the product stating that it would simplify the tendering process by allowing tenders to be submitted on line and allow better scenario analysis to be undertaken. 

Commenting on the system The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Donal Counihan, said that the City Council’s involvement in the project is another example of how the Council is building links and giving practical assistance to both the 4th level educational sector and to the local software industry.

Further information on this project is available from:

Dr. Alan Holland,

University College Cork

Tel: 021 4255416 email:

Brian Cassidy,

Senior Executive Engineer,

Recreation, Amenity & Culture,

Cork City Council     

Tel: 021 4924133      email:                           


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