UCD spinout Naiad clinchs Start-Up of the Year Award

Posted 22 November, 2018

Bioscience firm Naiad has been named University College Dublin’s Start-Up of the Year.

The company was presented with their €32,000 prize after being declared overall winner of the 2018 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme.

The founders of Naiad are Assistant Professor Emmanuel G. Reynaud, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, and Professor Brian Rodriguez, UCD School of Physics, both of whom are fellows of the UCD Conway Institute.

The firm’s liquid-based bioprinting techinque aims to help researchers create 3D models that better mimic the rich complexity of human tissue.

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.

“[This prize] acknowledges the hard work, dedication and progress of the entire team over the last number of years,” said Assistant Professor Reynaud.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

The annual 3-month UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, delivered at NovaUCD, works to support the launch of sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation at UCD said: “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.”

In addition to the 2018 UCD Start-up of the Year Award and incubation space at NovaUCD to the value of €12,000, 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.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations