Waste management start-up OxyMem has landed a €10,000 European innovation prize for its energy-saving treatment technology.
OxyMem, a spin-out from University College Dublin (UCD), has been awarded the EuropaBio 2016 Most Innovative European Biotech SME award, taking home a prize of €10,000 in the process.
Focused on reducing energy costs in waste management practices, OxyMem has created a solution called Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR).
Finance, such as that provided through this award, is critical to SMEs at the front line of innovation and energy solutions, according to Tom Saylor, chairman of the award organisers EuropaBio.
“Our biotech SMEs continue to face a challenging environment in terms of finance, regulatory policy and legislative rules,” he said.
“It is, therefore, important to offer a platform for public recognition to demonstrate their outstanding work and benefits to society, and to recognise the importance of sound European policy and business environment for such enterprises to thrive.”
Established by Prof Eoin Casey, Dr Eoin Syron and Wayne Byrne, OxyMem’s technology uses “gas permeable membranes”, which allows oxygen to be transferred directly to the wastewater treating bacteria – this reduces costs on both production and energy.
It won the NovaUCD innovation award last year, while also securing the grand prize at Imagine H20, a leading accelerator for water technology based in San Francisco.
The company is based at a 25,000 sq ft facility in Athlone, where it manufactures MABR. The company, which also has an office at NovaUCD, employs over 40 people.