WIT researchers receive €1.2m in EI Commercialisation Fund

18 Jun 2014

Dr Ken Thomas, head of the School of Engineering; Dr Philip Walsh, Convergent Technologies Research Group; Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre; and Dr Austin Coffey; Convergent Technologies Research Group

Three researchers from the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have jointly been awarded €1.2m by Enterprise Ireland (EI) as part of its Commercialisation Fund to help them make their ideas viable.

The fund has been created to support projects attempting to address a gap or need in the market. These projects involve the development of innovations that will ideally be ready for licensing to Irish industry or may form the basis of a new start-up within two to five years, with exceptions made for some industry applications that are, by their nature, longer than this time frame.

This year, the WIT recipients include:

  • Mr Philip Walsh, Convergent Technologies Research Group (CTRG): Developing an ICT-enabled diagnostic system for continuous real-time monitoring in advanced biomedical and life-science applications.
  • Dr Jason Barron, Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) at WIT: PANDA: Policy authoring and analysis system in instant messaging and enterprise social network environments.
  • Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre (SEAM): Fibre optic remote cartilage assessment tool for arthroscopy applications (FORCAST).

Since 2008, WIT has received more than €63m in direct funding from both Irish bodies and at an EU level, through which it has formed partnerships with other industrial and academic partners across the continent.

Prof Willie Donnelly, head of research and innovation at the Institute, said WIT is a university-level education institution that supports a thriving research culture, particularly in the areas of ICT, biopharma, eco-innovation, materials science, regional development, and health sciences.

“We have developed a particular competency in turning research into strong commercial propositions,” Donnelly said. “Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund is a natural fit for us as its main aim is to drive economic competitiveness through the creation of technology start-ups and the transfer of new innovations to industry.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic