UCD and Cúram reveal studies into regional funding and medtech

24 Feb 2017

Dr Dieter Kogler, UCD. Image: Nick Bradshaw

A UCD researcher has been awarded €1.5m for a study into technology evolution, while a separate Cúram project will see a new device made to treat hypertension.

A new €1.5m five-year study will be led by University College Dublin (UCD)’s Dr Dieter Kogler to develop ways for firms and policymakers to make better location-based investment decisions, in order to boost innovation and drive regional prosperity.

Called TechEvo, the social science study is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) grant, with Kogler creating his own research team.

Kogler, whose research focus is on the geography of innovation and evolutionary economic geography, claims that current approaches to regional investment may not be working.

“To date, the way in which specific regional knowledge capabilities influence the evolution of local technology trajectories and thus, shape geographies of economic prosperity, have not yet been considered systematically,” he said.

“Through the TechEvo research project, we will provide groundbreaking insights into how innovative entities and individual inventors are embedded in social and cognitive, local and non-local networks; and how regional technological change is shaped through entry, exit, and selection processes.”

Elsewhere this week, Cúram investigator Dr Martin O’Halloran secured his second ERC grant, with €150,000 allocated to develop a medical device for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).

Dr Martin O’Halloran, Cúram. Image: NUI Galway.

Dr Martin O’Halloran, Cúram. Image: NUI Galway.

The project is a collaboration between O’Halloran and Dr Conall Dennedy at Cúram, a medical research centre based at NUI Galway.

“The project plan is very similar to that of a start-up medtech company, where, as well as technology development, the team will also examine the competitive landscape, the clinical and regulatory pathway, and reimbursement opportunities,” said O’Halloran.

“The overarching goal is to gather sufficient technical, clinical, regulatory and commercial evidence over the course of the next 18 months to be able to spin out a company that is attractive to external investors. Such investment will be required to take the technology through to Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approval and clinical trials.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic