Novel 3D-bioprinting firm named UCD Start-up of the Year 2018

23 Nov 2018468 Views

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From left: Naiad founders Dr Emmanuel Reynaud and Dr Brian Rodriguez, both of whom are Fellows of the UCD Conway Institute. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

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Award-winning technology from Naiad mimics complexity of human tissue.

Emerging life sciences player Naiad has won prizes worth €32,000 after being declared overall winner of the 2018 University College Dublin (UCD) VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme.

Naiad is developing a novel, liquid-based, 3D-bioprinting technology that helps researchers fabricate highly reproducible 3D tissue models that better mimic the rich complexity of human tissues.

‘We are now seeking to raise an initial €750,000 in funding to support and expand our test sites in leading research institutes, and to build our team in anticipation of our first commercial release’
– DR EMMANUEL REYNAUD

In replacing ineffective models currently used, Naiad’s technology will help to improve drug toxicity and efficacy trials, thereby reducing the high attrition rates associated with drug discovery.

Building the biotech future

The founders of Naiad are Dr Emmanuel Reynaud of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, and Dr Brian Rodriguez of the UCD School of Physics, both of whom are Fellows of the UCD Conway Institute.

“We are delighted to have won the 2018 UCD Start-up of the Year award, which acknowledges the hard work, dedication and progress of the entire team over the last number of years,” Reynaud said.

“We are now seeking to raise an initial €750,000 in funding to support and expand our test sites in leading research institutes, and to build our team in anticipation of our first commercial release.

“Naiad is the result of collaborative research at UCD which has been funded to date by Enterprise Ireland, and I would like to acknowledge their contribution to our success. I would also like to acknowledge the great support of NovaUCD, the VentureLaunch facilitators, and specifically all of the VentureLaunch participants for their invaluable feedback and support.

In addition to the 2018 UCD Start-up of the Year award, Naiad was presented with a cheque for €10,000 sponsored by AIB and a professional services package to the value of €10,000 sponsored by Bryan Maguire Business Consulting and Deloitte. The winner will also receive incubation space at NovaUCD to the value of €12,000.

The overall objective of the annual three-month UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, which is delivered at NovaUCD, is to support the creation, and to accelerate the launch, of sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD. The programme aims is to equip UCD researchers with the knowledge, skills and understanding required to work as part of a team successfully leading a new commercial venture with global potential.

“At University College Dublin, we are strongly committed to delivering impact from our research and innovation activities, which are essential drivers of a dynamic economy,” explained Tom Flanagan, director of enterprise and commercialisation at UCD. “Through our VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, we are supporting the UCD research community to deliver such impact by assisting them to accelerate the establishment of new companies which have global market potential.”

The 2018 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme evaluation panel, which selected the overall winner following pitches by the six programme finalists, was chaired by Dr Helen McBreen, investment director at Atlantic Bridge. The other members of the panel were: Dr Sean Baker, NovaUCD entrepreneur in residence; Eddie Buckley, head of AIB Dublin South; and Sarah-Jane Larkin, director-general of the Irish Venture Capital Association.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com