NDRC’s model yields positive results with first spin-out

5 Oct 2010

The National Digital Research Centre has announced its first company spin-out – Haunted Planet Studios – plus two licensing deals.

The NDRC today launched its Annual Report 2009-2010, with the news that Haunted Planet Studios has spun out of an NDRC collaboration with Trinity College Dublin.

Haunted Planet Studios develops games that place players in real-world locations, interacting with the game and collecting virtual evidence to share with other players.

It recently secured the National Trust for Scotland as a customer, building a bespoke game for the Trust.

Today, the NDRC also announced that ‘LocalSocial’, a platform that enables the integration of location, proximity, event and social network information on mobile phone devices, has secured a global licence to Rococo Software, as well as external follow-on investment.

A collaboration between NDRC, Rococo Software and UCD, in late 2009 LocalSocial was awarded ‘Collaboration of the Year’ by the IrishSoftware Association.

Positive prospects for NDRC

According to the NDRC report, about 30pc of its collaborations will move towards commercialisation in the next six to 12 months.

NDRC was recently assessed by an International Review Panel as successfully addressing the “significant market and economic gap in the identification and development of very early stage technology in Ireland” and as providing a “high level of commercial support for its project participants compared with other similar organisations worldwide”.

Speaking today, Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC, said: We are pleased with the progress achieved to date in that it validates the model we have put in place, particularly the global reach of the two commercialisations and the speed (less than 18 months) with which they have gone from ideas to the marketplace. We have a strong ‘results’ focus, with a ‘fail fast’ mentality where an inability to demonstrate commercial viability results in early project termination and where demonstrated commercial viability results in resourcing and effort being aligned to expedite success.

“NDRC is about working with collaborators such as TCD in the case of Haunted Planet Studios and UCD in the case of LocalSocial to create sustainable growth activities in the economy, frequently in the form of viable indigenous start-ups. We are laying foundations for the future by developing product-market opportunities that will deliver real jobs,” he added.

The NDRC Annual Report and video interviews are available to view here.

To learn more about the Catalyser and LaunchPad programmes at the NDRC, click here.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic