Life sciences company Gabriel Scientific has won the overall ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award at the Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards. The Dublin-based firm has pioneered a unique technology for mattresses and pillows to fight against hospital-acquired infections and superbugs such as MRSA.
The company has developed a bacteriological filter technology for pillows and cushioning devices. Its products come under the SleepAngel name.
Gabriel Scientific will now receive a UCD Smurfit School scholarship for an executive education programme in 2012, a communications and advertising package from The Irish Times worth €150,000, plus business and legal advice from Byrne Wallace.
The company itself was founded by partners who have a depth of industry experience in the healthcare and medical supplies industry.
One of the founders, Billy Navan, was formerly the owner of a medical supplies and hospital uniform businesses for 30 years. He holds patents and patents-pending relating to the healthcare and bedding sectors. Meanwhile, Dr Duncan Bain is an expert in the science of bedding. He formerly led a research unit within the Institute of Orthopaedics at University College London.
They decided to pool their resources to set up Gabriel Scientific to tackle the problems of infection and cross-contamination in hospitals due contaminated bedding.
CEO Dr David Woolfson said last night that the company’s vision is to become a "vital and trusted product globally". "This award is a great start to our exciting journey," he said.
Overall, 155 companies from various industries entered the 2012 Awards.
Clean-tech winner: Waste Systems
Nishi Ward, founder and managing director of Waste Systems. The Co Tyrone company won Best Green-Tech Innovation at the 2012 Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards. The company was founded with the support of Invest Northern Ireland
The other five winners
Best Public Service Innovation: Mayo County Council for it green way project. The Great Western Greenway is a 42km traffic free walking and cycling facility connecting Westport and Achill Island in Co Mayo
Best Service Innovation: Tweak.com. Founded by entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly, Tweak is a web-based design platform that brings the services of professional designers to the desktops of Ireland’s business owners.
Best Organisational System or Process Innovation: Amatech. The Galway-based company is pioneering what it is terming the next generation of electronic passports and identity cards through the formation of laser ablated pockets and channels within the document to host an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and its antenna.
Best Application of R&D: X-Bolt Orthopedics. The Dublin-based medical devices company also won best North/South Collaboration Project. X-Bolt has developed expanding bolt device for internal bone fixation in osteoporotic hip fractures.
Best Green-Tech Innovation: Waste Systems. The Omagh company won for its development and design of a separation process used in the recovery of useful fractions in waste documents.