12 tech start-ups join UCD’s 2012 entrepreneurship programme

2 May 2012

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Twelve new knowledge-intensive business ventures and 28 researchers are taking part in UCD’s 2012 entrepreneurship programme, the university said this morning.

The annual Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP), which has just commenced at NovaUCD, assists UCD academic and research entrepreneurs in bringing their innovative ideas from intellectual concepts to fully developed and sound commercial businesses.

Just fewer than 190 new ventures and 290 individuals have to date completed this programme which has run since 1996.

The new ventures and individuals participating on this year’s programme are commercialising research undertaken throughout the university, including research in the UCD Schools of Biosystems Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Computer Science and Informatics, Physics and Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science.

"The Campus Company Development Programme is University College Dublin’s main business support programme and is designed specifically to assist researchers in establishing new UCD spin-out companies to commercialise the innovative ideas arising from their research programmes," explained Prof Peter Clinch, UCD vice-president for Innovation.

He added, "I am delighted that nearly 30 of our researchers are taking part in this year’s programme. It is critically important for the development of a sustainable smart economy in Ireland that university researchers, who have developed innovative ideas, participate on programmes such as the CCDP to understand and learn the skills required to establish new high-tech companies and to grow and develop such companies into the future."

The CCDP is a nine-month, part-time programme designed to suit the busy timetable of researchers and academics. It offers a mix of monthly workshops, mentoring and one-to-one consultancy. It is delivered by NovaUCD staff, with support from NovaUCD’s sponsors and network, as well as other outside experts.

The programme culminates with a high-profile awards evening, which will be held in November. At the end of this event, the UCD 2012 Start-Up of the Year Award will be presented to one of the participating ventures. Former winners of this award include companies such as BiancaMed, Equinome, Logentries and RendezVu.

APC Ltd, the overall winner of the 2011 award, has already hired nine permanent PhD qualified engineers and chemists. The company is currently recruiting highly-skilled staff for its technology divisions and expects to employ 20 people by the end of 2013.

The CCDP is designed to assist academic entrepreneurs by providing them with the skills necessary to transform their ideas into commercially feasible new ventures. Participants on the programme have the opportunity to access NovaUCD’s desk space and incubation facilities and associated innovation support services.

This year, a prize fund of more than €35,000 will be available to the 2012 CCDP award winners. In addition to cash prizes and six months of free NovaUCD desk space, Aristo, Arthur Cox, Delaney Financial Consultancy, Deloitte and Newmarket Partnership will be providing professional services. AccountsIQ will also be providing a free one-year subscription to its accountancy software.

New Ventures Participating on the 2012 CCDP at UCD

EgoNav is developing a software tool to assist companies with effective customer analytics by identifying recurring patterns and anomalous structure in large customer datasets by performing a parallel analysis of all their customers in real time. The promoters are Dr Martin Harrigan, Dr Lorcan Coyle and Dr Prag Sharma, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Energy Efficient Household Appliance is developing a low-cost, energy-saving device which is a realistic alternative to conventional drying methods. The promoters are David Ronan, Finbarr Maguire and Frank Griffin, UCD School of Biosystems Engineering.

Faisnéis is developing "smart systems" technology for the agri-food and bioresources sectors. The promoter is Prof Shane Ward, UCD School of Biosystems Engineering.

High Performance Hydrogen Storage Technology is developing a hydrogen storage system where hydrogen can be released at moderate temperatures fast and "on demand" from the system. The promoters are Dr Christian Grave and Dr Andrew Phillips, UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

InCUs is developing technology for e-discovery experts and IT security managers, which employs digital forensic techniques to provide additional insight into operation of organisational IT infrastructure. The promoters are John Michael Harkness, Barry Denby and Dr Pavel Gladyshev, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics.

NanoCheck is developing screening approaches for nanomaterial-biomolecule interactions as a basis for optimised nanomedical targeting, personalised medicine and nanosafety assessment. The promoters are Dr Iseult Lynch and Prof Kenneth Dawson, UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Centre for BioNano Interactions.

Pathogen Track will specialise in training and providing services for the monitoring, identifying and tracking of pathogens alongside risk analyses for products and manufacturing processes in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The promoters are Dr Karen Power and Prof Seamus Fanning, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science.

Ser:on:line Networks is developing a Wi-Fi-based wireless communications solution which will be rented to event organisers so they can provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi internet access to their visitors. The promoter is Sebastian Robitzsch, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Short pulse, high-energy laser systems is developing robust laser systems with short, high-energy pulses for high-precision micro-engineering and high-value science applications. The promoters are Dr Tony Donnelly, Dr Fergal O’Reilly, Elaine Long and Thomas Cummins, UCD School of Physics.

SpecPros is developing the use of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) for the monitoring of food quality attributes, which are invisible to the human eye, in a rapid and non-destructive manner. The promoters are Dr Aoife Gowen and Dr Carlos Esquerre, UCD School of Biosystems Engineering.

Yokie is developing a novel people-powered search and discovery engine that harnesses the vast amounts of content shared by millions of people on real-time social networks like Twitter. The promoter is Owen Phelan, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics and the CLARITY Centre for Sensor Web Technologies.

X-Ray Microscope is developing and building an innovative, high-power microscope using X-rays for applications in the bio-imaging area. The promoters are Dr Tom McCormack, Dr Dimitri Scholz, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Niall Kennedy, UCD School of Physics and the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com