Inventors pitch 21 ‘Big Ideas’ to investors at Enterprise Ireland technology showcase
|Dr Mark Southern receiving the Manufacturing, Engineering and Energy Commercialisation Award 2013. Pictured L-R: Dr. Mary Shire, VP of Research UL, Minister Sean Sherlock, Dr Mark Southern, Gearoid Mooney, Manager Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland.|
21 inventors pitched their new technologies to an audience of over 450 potential investors recently at the Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas technology showcase in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin 4.
The aim of the event is to connect the inventors with the right investors and business partners to establish new companies and create high-value jobs.
The inventors are researchers from Higher Education Institutes who have used public-funding to develop innovative technologies including;
• treatments for high-blood pressure, varicose veins and dementia
• non-stick, biodegradable chewing gum
• data security for documents stored in the cloud
• smart paint that transforms any surface into a whiteboard
• surgical innovations
• safe, natural clean-up solutions for toxic dumps
• a movement analysis tool for athletes
• an ‘effortless’ clothes hanger
In his welcome to the investors attending the event, Gearóid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland’s Research and Innovation Manager outlined the path that the inventors took to get an audience with potential investors;
“All of the ‘big ideas’ have come through the national technology transfer system which is funded through Enterprise Ireland.
Initially the technologies were developed by the researchers in Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) using public research funds. Then they were commercialised with funding and advice from Enterprise Ireland and the Technology Transfer Office within the HEIs.
“Many of the inventors have been teamed-up with business partners by Enterprise Ireland. The inventors and their teams have worked incredibly hard to get to this point where they are now ready to do deals with investors” said Mooney.
Minister Sherlock also presented Commercialisation Awards at the event to three people who have demonstrated excellence in commercialisation.
The Lifescience & Food Commercialisation Award was presented to professor Louise Kenny for developing and commercialising the first predictive diagnosis for pre-eclampsia in early pregnancy.
Louise is Director of the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (Infant), Professor of Obstetrics at UCC and a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital. INFANT is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and located at Cork University Maternity Hospital.
Pre-eclampsia is a very common condition affecting 5% of first time mothers. Currently, 70-80,000 mothers and over 500,000 infant deaths are attributed to pre-eclampsia each year and it is responsible for occupancy of approximately 20% of neonatal intensive care unit cots. If ‘at risk’ first time mothers could be identified in early pregnancy, steps could be taken to prevent almost a third of cases.
The ICT Commercialisation Award was presented to Tony O’Dowd for licensing a piece of research generated at the Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL) at Dublin City University, to form a start-up company called Xcelerator Machine Translations Ltd. The company currently has 14 full time employees and is growing a substantial client base with an innovative cloud based machine translation services. The company’s premier product is now marketed as “KantanMT”
The Manufacturing, Engineering & Energy Commercialisation Award was presented to Dr. Mark Southern in recognition of his outstanding record in raising the core productivity of Irish manufacturers – thus enabling them to go further in their new product development, sales and exports. Dr. Southern’s team at the University of Limerick helps companies by matching their technical issues and challenges to state-of-the-art solutions in manufacturing measurement, simulation, software and statistical know how.