UCD Engineers Receive 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Awards
NovaUCD today announced the winners of its annual innovation awards. A total of 7 Awards, including the 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Award, were revealed during a virtual event, to highlight successes made in areas of commercialisation, consultancy, entrepreneurship and the promotion of an innovation culture, by members of the UCD community
The Awards were due to be presented at an event in March which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Madeleine Lowery, UCD School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering received the 2019 NovaUCD Invention of the Year Award for her Handalysis invention.
This invention is a new approach to rate the decline in motor function for neuro-degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Her alternative approach, developed by Professor Lowery and her team, including two PhD students Ben O'Callaghan and Matthew Flood, utilises a discreet wearable device incorporating digital signal processing to accurately measure and characterise finger tapping movement in patients, which are currently commonly assessed visually to assess motor function.
Associate Professor David Timoney, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering along with Professor Robert Shorten and Assistant Professor Giovanni Russo, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Associate Professor Francesco Pilla, UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy received the 2019 NovaUCD Consultancy of the Year Award.
Through ConsultUCD they were commissioned by Toyota Ireland to investigate the energy behaviour of the Toyota Prius IV hybrid vehicle, under a set of conditions representative of regular Irish commuting patterns. The study revealed that the Toyota Prius was in in zero emissions mode (ZEV) for 60% of journeys resulting in reduced CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy.
Professor Eoin Casey and Dr Eoin Syron, UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering and Dr Barry Heffernan received the 2019 NovaUCD Licence of the Year Award for the licensing of the Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology to OxyMem.
This unique aeration system which allows for low energy delivery of oxygen was subsequently the subject of a priority patent application. In 2013 the patented technology was licenced to a UCD spin-out company OxyMem which was co-founded by Professor Casey, Dr Syron and Wayne Byrne, for the treatment and purification of municipal and industrial wastewater.
By the end of 2019, when it was acquired by DuPont, OxyMem had more than 60 employees, one manufacturing site in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, secured significant investment and major clients around the world.
The other Awardees announced are as follows;
The 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Award, which recognises excellence in innovation or of successes achieved in the commercialisation of UCD research or other intellectual activity over a number of years, was presented to Dr Fergal O’Reilly, who has been a researcher in the UCD School of Physics since 2005.
Following the submission of a number of invention disclosures and the subsequent patenting of the disclosed technology by UCD, Dr O’Reilly co-founded SiriusXT with Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Paul Sheridan and Tony McEnroe based on the results of his research activities on soft x-rays and liquid optics over a near 10-year period.
SiriusXT, a UCD School of Physics spin-out company, has created the first commercial, laboratory-based, soft x-ray microscope which can produce high resolution 3D images of cells and tissue that cannot be produced any other way.
The award-winning company, an Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up, has now raised over €10 million in grant and equity funding. This includes just over €4.5 million in blended (grant and equity) funding recently awarded to the company from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot programme.
The recipient of the 2019 NovaUCD Spin-out of the Year Award is Output Sports. Output Sports has developed an end-to-end solution, using advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques, that can test multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes using a single wearable sensor.
The company was co-founded by Dr Martin O'Reilly, Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Professor Brian Caulfield as a spin-out from UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and Insight, the SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics.
By the end of 2019 Output Sports prototypes were being used by over 40 professional teams, in Ireland, the UK and USA.
The recipient of the 2019 NovaUCD Founder of the Year Award is Bobby Healy, founder and CEO of Manna, the drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ company, who in 2019 closed a $5.2 million (€4.6 million) seed funding round, led by US-based Dynamo VC.
The recipient of the 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Champion of the Year Award is Professor Suzi Jarvis, founding Director of the UCD Innovation Academy.
The UCD Innovation Academy, while only established in 2010 now works with 1,000 learners each year, from UCD undergraduates to PhD students to industry professionals, instilling creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to an ever growing number of people.
Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate all those who have received NovaUCD 2019 Innovation Awards. These Awards were established to recognise and highlight the successes being made by members of our research and entrepreneurial community across the University. I wish them all continuing success in the years ahead as they continue to deliver impact for the economy and society through their commercialisation, consultancy, entrepreneurial and innovation activities.”