Japanese technology firm Fujitsu has announced an investment in a research programme at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway.

Fujitsu will be looking at ways to deal with, analyse and create commercial opportunities from what's called big data.

That means the huge amounts of information generated by large businesses.

For example the meter readings conducted by a large power company can provide valuable information on energy usage patterns that could help a firm such as ESB improve its service.

The difficulty is in processing and analysing such a vast quantity of data in a very short space of time because of the volume of new information flowing in each day.

Tatsuo Tomita, President of Fujitsu Laboratories, said that Fujitsu views as essential the processing of big data, "in other words, the gathering, semantic analysis and categorisation of big data."

NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute is a leading research institute in the use of semantic data.

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation welcomed the announcement saying that prioritising research is key to turning good ideas into good jobs through targeted investment.