Drive to match researchers with investors launched

20 Oct 2010

A new drive focused on matching research with investment has been launched and is targeting turning research work into future jobs.

The drive, launched by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Conor Lenihan TD, at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas Showcase will allow 18 researchers to pitch “exciting” new technologies to more than 200 potential investors and partners.

The event will see more than 100 one-to-one meetings between the inventors and the potential investors to explore the options to either licence these new technologies or use them as the basis to form new companies in the energy, life sciences, medical engineering and IT sectors.

Strong entrepreneurial activity

Speaking at the launch, Lenihan stressed his belief that Ireland’s greatest strength was in entrepreneurial activity and insisted that we stand above the European average.

“When it comes to entrepreneurship, Ireland’s performance is well above the European average. Our levels of total entrepreneurial activity, the numbers who want to become self-employed and those involved in entrepreneurship education, all exceed the European average.”

The Big Ideas Showcase is part of the Government’s and Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to commercialise publicly funded research. Last year, Enterprise Ireland supported the business plans of 73 high-potential start-up companies.

Lenihan said: “Over the past decade, the Government and Enterprise Ireland have continued to increase investment and support for nurturing the commercial potential of research and IP developed in Ireland’s higher-education institutions.

“During this period, over 900 researchers in higher education institutes have received commercialisation funding to prove and develop the commercial potential of their research.

“To date, over 140 new companies have been formed from this research, with 63 of these in the last three years alone. Together, these companies have a turnover of over €160m and employ over 1,000 people,” he said.

The focus of the event is on securing investment and business partners to bring these projects to the next stage in commercialisation.

This year, the awards went to:

– Astryne Limited, a DCU spin-out company that manufactures liquid filters for VARs like Siemens, Veolia, Mahle and Heun;

– The Centre for Digital Video Processing (CDVP) in DCU – a digital processing technology for use in vehicle traffic analysis at seaport, land border crossings and urban congestion zones;

– Solvotrin Therapeutics – a TCD spin-out company working to deliver new innovative drugs to the cardiovascular market.