Nanoscience institute CRANN gets three new board members

26 Apr 2012

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Julie O'Neill, president of IBEC; Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce; and Ludo Deferm, executive vice-president and head of business development at imec, the Belgium-based nanoscience institute, have become board members of CRANN

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CRANN, the Science Foundation Ireland-funded nanoscience institute based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), has added three new members to its board, as the institute ramps up its nanotech commercialisation efforts.

Julie O’Neill, president of IBEC; Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce; and Ludo Deferm, executive vice-president and head of business development at imec, the Belgium-based nanoscience institute, have become CRANN’s latest board members.

CRANN’s 2012 strategy has a strong commercialisation agenda, as the institute is aiming to engage in more technology transfer, moving its research from the lab and into industry.

Nanoscience research at CRANN is currently focused on areas such as medical, pharmaceutical, materials, energy and technology industries.

In the past year alone, CRANN secured more than €2.5m in non-Exchequer funding from industry.

Strategic nanotech industry link-ups

Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, executive director at CRANN, said today that CRANN has developed a strong industry engagement programme with more than 120 companies, including Intel, HP, Merck Millipore and Western Digital.

He said it was crucial that CRANN grows this programme and develops new links within Irish and European industry.

"Bringing new members of the calibre of Gina, Julie and Ludo on board sends a strong message that we are focused on commercialisation and partnering with national and multinational companies to develop the practical application of our research," said O’Brien.

He said CRANN’s research has the potential to transform products and services in almost every industry, but O’Brien specifically drew upon Ireland’s manufacturing, technology and energy industries.

"I look forward to working with our new board members to develop relationships within these sectors into the year ahead," he said.

O’Neill spoke today about how 10pc of Ireland’s exports are enabled by nanoscience.

Deferm spoke about the importance of CRANN forging alliances with partners from other countries.

"CRANN is amongst the best nanoscience research institutes in the world and linking and engaging with international partners are key. I am glad to use my international experience and to help in this effort in joining the CRANN board."

Membership of the board of CRANN runs from January 2012 to January 2015.

The other CRANN board members are Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, Prof John Boland, Prof Clive Williams, Prof David Grayson, Eamonn Sinnott, general manager of Intel in Ireland, Sir Keith O’Nions, Seán Dorgan, former CEO of IDA Ireland, Prof Stefano Sanvito, Prof James Lunney and Prof Vinny Cahill.

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Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com