UCC shortlists finalists for Invention of the Year Award

15 Mar 2012

University College Cork’s (UCC) Office of Technology Transfer has shortlisted the finalists for the university’s Invention of the Year Award, which will take place on 27 March next. Innovations around nanopattern technology as well as therapeutic innovations are up for this year’s award.

UCC is anticipating that some of finalists are likely to follow in the path of recent commercial successes, spawning the next generation of license deals and spin-out companies at the university.  

Innovations that are up for this year’s award include research projects around:

  • Probiotic strains that aim significantly reduce stress, anxiety and pain
  • Software enabling accelerated data services for satellite systems at lower costs and increased speed and quality
  • Semiconductor substrate formation
  • Nanopattern technology.

Several therapeutic innovations are also in contention for this year’s award. These include the identification of molecules for treating multi-drug resistant cystic fibrosis infections and a gastroenteral feeding tube kit.

Commercialisation edge

UCC has put together a panel comprising industry experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and investors to review the technologies and inventions that are under development at the multi-centred innovation campus at the university.  

Professor Anita Maguire, vice-president for Research and Innovation at UCC, will chair the judging panel. The other panelists are Gearoid Mooney, director of ICT commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland; John O’Sullivan, partner at ACT Venture Capital; Declan O’Mahoney, CEO Maywentee; and Humphrey Moynihan, principal research scientist at Eli Lilly.

Declan O’Mahoney was previously CEO at Firecomms, a UCC spin-out that was acquired by Chinese giant ZJF Group in 2010. Speaking today, O’Mahoney said the calibre of the entries this year was exceptional, both in the ICT and biosciences categories.  

“This innovation culture drives future campus spin-outs, commercial successes, employment opportunities and fuels further discoveries and innovations in our universities,” he said.

UCC’s innovation centres Tyndall National Institute and the BioInnovation Centre already support high-potential start-ups. UCC also supports nascent entrepreneurs through its Ignite programme.

In 2011, 65 inventions were disclosed at UCC, with 23 initial patent applications, and almost 20 technologies licensed to third party organisations.  There were three spin-outs from innovations developed on campus last year. 

The winner of the UCC Invention of the Year will be announced on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 at the Annual Research Commercialisation Awards.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic