NovaUCD has assisted more than 550 companies in its 20 years, report

18 Oct 2023

Dr Fiona McGillicuddy, MetHealth, UCD; Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Neale Richmond, TD; Prof Orla Feely, UCD; and Dr Martin O’Reilly, CEO and co-founder, Output Sports. Image: Conor McCabe

NovaUCD’s business community has raised more than €1.3bn in equity funding since the centre began supporting start-ups and companies in 2003.

NovaUCD, the centre for start-ups and incubators located at University College Dublin (UCD) has released a new report that details the progress its companies have achieved over the past two decades and their plans for the future. According to the report, businesses supported by the centre plan to create 1,100 new jobs and raise €290m over the next two years. These estimated figures are based on a short survey of the companies NovaUCD works with.

The Ideas to Impact Since 2003 report was published today (18 October) to celebrate the centre’s 20th anniversary. Currently, NovaUCD supports more than 70 start-ups and established companies as they grow and scale nationally and globally. These include EV company Go Eve, drone delivery company Manna and quantum computing company Equal1.

“Looking to the future there will be many opportunities for NovaUCD to build on its successes to date, in areas such as agrifood, space, cybersecurity, AI, edge computing, manufacturing, advanced diagnostics, novel therapeutics and sustainability,” said Tom Flanagan, NovaUCD director of enterprise and commercialisation.

‘Impressive metrics’

To date, NovaUCD has supported more than 550 companies and early-stage ventures. Its community of businesses has raised more than €1.3bn in equity funding. UCD president, Prof Orla Feely, welcomed the report, adding that it “outlines NovaUCD’s achievements and impressive metrics and impact since 2003 and highlights the significant funding and job creation plans of the NovaUCD entrepreneurial ecosystem over the next two years”.

“It also includes stories of how the university through NovaUCD’s activities strives to make a difference to the lives of others in Ireland and in the wider world and contribute[s] to areas of global concerns.”

In the past two decades, more than 1,165 inventions have been disclosed by UCD researchers, the report found. More than 370 priority patent applications have been filed and more than 320 licensing deals have been concluded with a range of indigenous and international businesses.

Feely also paid tribute to industry partners that have worked with NovaUCD down through the years. She said the centre was “originally funded through a unique public-private partnership”, and she thanked AIB, AMD, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson and Goodbody for what she described as “their unwavering support and guidance since 2003”.

“In addition, we are very appreciative of the ongoing support provided to NovaUCD by Enterprise Ireland, especially through the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative and KT Boost programmes.” Marina Donohoe, divisional manager of research and innovation at Enterprise Ireland, said the organisation looked forward to continuing to support NovaUCD’s HPSUs under both programmes.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.