University College Dublin Spin-Out Shortlisted for Irish Times Innovation Awards 2020

NovoGrid, a software company that optimises energy delivery, is among the 15 technology companies announced today as shortlisted finalists for the Irish Times Innovation Awards 2020.

The University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company is one of three companies shortlisted in the IT and Fintech Award category. There are a total of 5 (five) Irish Times Innovation Award categories with three companies shortlisted for each Award.

Now in its 11th year, the Irish Times Innovation Awards offer a platform for public and private sector organisations, operating in Ireland, to showcase their services, product or operational innovations. This year the Awards attracted more than 60 entries.

NovoGrid is commercialising GridBoost a proprietary grid edge intelligence software which automates and removes inefficiencies in renewable generators and electrical grid operations. The company was co-founded in 2014 by Professor Andrew Keane and Paul Manning as a spin-out from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Last month NovoGrid announced the successful completion of a two-year pilot project with ESB Networks at SSE Renewables’ Richfield wind farm in Co. Wexford. Using GridBoost SSE Renewables saved over 300,000 kWh of renewable electricity, enough to power 70 Irish homes for a year, during the project period. This amount of electricity would have previously been lost in delivery on the grid.

The GridBoost software is currently also installed in a number of wind farms in the UK and trials are also under way in Germany.

Paul Manning, co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, NovoGrid, said, "We are delighted to be in the final of the Irish Times Innovation Awards. We are in good company, with some exceptional finalists. 2020 has been an outstanding year for NovoGrid, launching sales in the UK, expanding our product range and growing the team. We are really looking forward to more expansion in 2021, this nomination will only help that."

In 2014 NovoGrid was named overall winner of the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme run by NovaUCD. Earlier this year the company won the 2020 Irish Wind Energy Association’s Best Technology Award for the GridBoost project at the Richfield Wind Farm.

Seven Irish Times Innovation Awards will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony to be held next January. A winner from each of the five categories, a social innovation award, presented to the finalist whose project has made the greatest impact in terms of social enterprise, as well as the overall Irish Times Innovation of the Year Award.

The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges chaired by entrepreneur and Irish Times columnist Chris Horn.

Last year Galway-based Atlantic Therapeutics won the overall Award for developing a non-invasive, long-lasting solution to bladder weakness and other disorders associated with pelvic floor muscle problems.

In 2014 OxyMem, also a UCD spin-out company, won the overall The Irish Times Innovation of the Year Award for its Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor technology to treat municipal and industrial wastewater.

The other two companies shortlisted in the IT and Fintech Award category in addition to NovoGrid are, eCOMM Merchant Solutions and Planet Payment Group Holdings.

The sponsors of the Irish Times Innovation Awards include, the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Skillnet Ireland.