Irish water tech start-up OxyMem wins grand prize at international awards

23 Mar 2015

OxyMem, an Irish start-up working in water cleaning and efficiency technology, has won the grand prize at Imagine H2O, a leading accelerator for water technology based in San Francisco.

The accelerator has varying topics each year with this year’s theme relating to infrastructure management and is orchestrated by a team of leaders in the water, energy, and non-profit sectors at Harvard Business School whose vision is to turn water problems into opportunities.

100 companies who work in the field of efficiencies in water supplies across 20 different countries applied to the accelerator, however, OxyMem was the only Irish company among 12 shortlisted finalists, six in each of two categories (early-stage and growth stage), with the other finalists coming from the USA, Israel and Greece.

The Irish company has achieved considerable success in its two years of operation having been formed as a spin-out company from University College Dublin (UCD) by Prof Eoin Casey and Dr Eoin Syron which allows for the treatment of water with a considerably lower amount of energy usage.

While traditional water treatment technology takes up approximately 2-3pc of a country’s daily energy needs, OxyMem claim their solution by-passes this by using hollow fibre, gas permeable membranes, to support a fixed film ecosystem for the biology allowing for direct delivery of oxygen to the micro-organisms which break down the pollutants.

On receiving the award, the company’s managing director, Wayne Byrne, said of the achievement, “This accolade gives us incredible traction in the US, and global markets, with end users, partners and venture capital because of its strong track record. We are honoured to have been selected as the overall winner from such a strong cohort of finalists.”

Water droplet image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic