Meet The Team
Innovation Team Members - UCD Research and Innovation
Prof. Helen Roche
Prof. Helen Roche
Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact
Professor Helen Roche trained initially in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, then in Molecular Medicine at TCD. She was a Wellcome Fellow in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge (UK) and returned to Ireland in 2001 to take up a Wellcome Trust Fellowship at TCD.
In 2007 she was appointed Associate Professor Nutrigenomics at the UCD Conway Institute and the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and since then has held a number of roles including VP of Research, Innovation and Impact for the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences.
In 2017 she became Full Professor of Nutrition and Omics and in 2021 was appointed Director of the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.
t: +353 1 716 4031
Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation
t: +353 1 716 3718
Tom is the Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation at University College Dublin where he leads the team that supports research collaborations and knowledge transfer with industry, that assists entrepreneurs to launch and scale new high-tech businesses and that supports UCD academics to deliver global consulting services.
He has responsibility for NovaUCD, the premier start-up incubator in Ireland, NexusUCD, a unique on-campus collaboration space for companies engaged in research activities with the University, and ConsultUCD, a new managed consultancy service, which has been established to facilitate access and support the engagement between business, industry and UCD.
He worked in the UK, Canada and the US in various roles in product design, marketing and sales and led a $100 million/year consulting and systems integration business as Vice-President for Canada and Central US at Nortel.
He returned to Ireland and established a successful management consulting business before joining DIT as Head of Innovation. He created Hothouse, the first Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Centre at DIT. Hothouse has helped entrepreneurs develop over 400 sustainable businesses, raise €195 million in investment and create 1700 jobs.
He also launched the Dublin Region Innovation Consortium successfully commercialising research for five other institutions; ITTD; ITB; IADT; NCI and DIAS, to deliver over 140 licences and 30 spin-out companies.
Tom was seconded to Knowledge Transfer Ireland to review the National IP Protocol and contributed to the Irish Government’s 5-year strategy Innovation 2020 through his work on the Government’s Research Prioritisation panel.
He also chaired the Irish Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Group and served on the boards of Dublin City Enterprise and several high-tech companies.
He was also recruited onto the H2020 ProgressTT project to mentor Knowledge Transfer Offices across Europe for enhanced performance before joining UCD.
He has also championed one of his patents, ‘SONET Rings’ to worldwide deployment, changing how telecommunications networks were designed.
Tom graduated with an honours engineering degree from UCD, and an MSc from Aston University and an Executive MBA from Northwestern University, Chicago.
Tom is the Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation and leads the NovaUCD team that supports research collaborations and knowledge transfer with industry, assists entrepreneurs to launch and scale new high-tech businesses and supports UCD academics to deliver global consulting services.
Dr Ciaran O’Beirne
Dr Ciaran O’Beirne
Manager, Knowledge Transfer
t: +353 1 716 3713
Dr Ciaran O’Beirne is the Manager, Technology Transfer and heads up the team responsible for identifying, protecting and commercialising intellectual property (IP) arising from UCD research projects either through licensing and/or new venture creation.
Ciaran also plays a lead role in business development activities and in negotiating IP terms in various agreements between UCD and industry partners.
Ciaran’s career has included working as a Pharmaceutical Assessor with the Irish Medicines Board, as a Research Scientist in Abbott Laboratories and as the Assistant Director for Product Evaluations with the American Dental Association.
Ciaran graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Dr Stephen Donoghue
Dr Stephen Donoghue
Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer, Environment
Stephen is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of University College Dublin research outputs within the environment area.
He is responsible for fostering the development of a strong Intellectual Property (IP) pipeline in this research space by supporting researchers at grant proposal stages and in drafting business plans and commercialisation roadmaps to ensure that the resulting IP is commercialised via licensing and/or start-up creation to achieve maximum strategic impact.
Stephen previously occupied a couple of positions at Swansea, University, including technology transfer officer and IP & Commercialisation Research Manager. At Swansea Stephen helped to develop a diverse range of technologies including cleantech, GMOs, biopesticides and several modelling and medical technologies. He also led on the first investment by the VC firm IP Group in Swansea University technology.
Prior to his technology commercialisation experience, Stephen had worked for Novozymes and Knoll Pharmaceuticals in the UK.
Stephen graduated with a BSc in Biotechnology from Dublin City University and has obtained postgraduate degrees in Toxicology and Pathology from the University of Leicester. After his PhD Stephen completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and UCD. He also completed a LLB from Griffith College Dublin and has been a guest lecturer on a couple of LLM courses related to technology and law.
Dr Tony Donnelly
Dr Tony Donnelly
Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer, ICT
Tony is a Case Manager for Technology Transfer and is responsible for managing the
identification, protection and commercialisation of UCD research outputs within the ICT
Tony graduated with a BSc in Experimental Physics from UCD and a PhD in Physics from
Trinity College Dublin. Tony has worked for over 10 years in academic and industry research
environments. During an academic research career Tony co-authored over twenty research
articles in the area of photonics, plasma light sources and nanomaterials and examined the
commercial feasibility for several different laser-based processes. He secured over €300k in
R&D funding to develop academic research outputs towards industry relevant technologies.
Tony has also worked with several different R&D intensive companies including a French
SME developing process solutions for the semiconductor industry, an Irish SME developing
wearable RFID payment technologies and a UCD spin-out developing the world’s first
commercial soft x-ray microscope for 3D structural imaging of biological cells.
Tony is responsible for fostering the development of a strong Intellectual Property (IP)
pipeline in the ICT research area by supporting researchers at grant proposal stages and in
drafting business plans and commercialisation roadmaps to ensure that the resulting IP is
commercialised via licensing and/or start-up creation to achieve maximum strategic impact.
Dr Stacey Kelly
Dr Stacey Kelly
Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer, Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science
t: +353 1 716 3705
Stacey is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of University College Dublin research outputs within the food, agriculture and veterinary research areas.
She is responsible for fostering the development of a strong Intellectual Property (IP) pipeline in the above research areas by supporting researchers at grant proposal stages and in drafting business plans and commercialisation roadmaps to ensure that the resulting IP is commercialised via licensing and/or start-up creation to achieve maximum strategic impact.
Stacey previously worked as a research scientist with Food for Health Ireland, a multi-party collaborative programme incorporating expertise from four leading academic institutes (UCC, UCD, Teagasc and UL) in association with four industry partners (Carbery Group, Dairygold Food Ingredients Ltd, Glanbia plc and Kerry Group plc) to develop new functional food ingredients and products from milk-derived bioactive.
Prior to this ,she worked as a patent scientist with Oriflame R&D where she supported the identification of IP arising from NPD projects alongside the patent activity of a dedicated skin research team. She has previous experience working with the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in the genotyping of scrapie susceptibility SNPs within the Irish sheep flock.
Stacey graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dublin Institute of Technology and a PhD in Immunology with Trinity College Dublin.
Stacey is a Case Manager for Technology Transfer and is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of UCD research outputs within the food, agriculture and veterinary research areas.
Dr Hugh Hayden
Dr Hugh Hayden
Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer, Physical Sciences and Engineering
t: +353 1 716 3725
Hugh is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of UCD research outputs within the physical sciences and engineering research areas.
He is responsible for fostering the development of a strong Intellectual Property (IP) pipeline in these research areas by supporting researchers at grant proposal stages and in drafting business plans and commercialisation roadmaps to ensure that the resulting IP is commercialised via licensing and/or start-up creation to achieve maximum strategic impact.
With over 15 years of experience in the material science R&D, including developing a number of patents and technology which were licenced to various industry sectors (automotive, aerospace, ceramics) Hugh has extensive experience in technology development of IP from the university sector.
Hugh has previously worked in UCD in a large European project involving over 300 SMEs and start-ups across North West Europe, working with key stakeholders to develop new products and markets. This involved working with the start-ups and SMEs on product development activities, including, validations and certification, market assessments, supporting business plans etc.
Hugh’s extensive technology transfer experience includes spinning out a start-up from an academic centre which developed novel smart-coatings and working with industry centres on product and process improvement.
Hugh graduated with a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in Material Science and with an MBA from Dublin City University
Hugh is a Case Manager for Technology Transfer and is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of UCD research outputs within the physical sciences and engineering research areas.
Dr Ena Walsh
Dr Ena Walsh
Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer, Life Sciences
t: +353 1 716 3706
Ena is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of University College Dublin research outputs within the life sciences area.
She is responsible for the development and negotiation of licensing opportunities with industry. She plays a key role in fostering the development of a strong Intellectual Property portfolio and high-tech spin-out companies from the University by supporting the business plan and commercialisation roadmap development by advising on how licensed University intellectual property can have a maximum strategic impact and by supporting fund-raising for early-stage ventures.
With over 25 years experience in the life science area, 15 years of which were spent in the international pharmaceutical industry, Ena has significant senior management experience in both multinationals and startups. Ena held product and business development roles in Elan Corporation, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and the start-up, PharmaNeuroBoost.
As a consultant, she supported Irish and international companies and Universities in the development and commercialisation of life science technologies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic sectors. Ena has also worked with agencies (Enterprise Ireland, Forfas, Invest Northern Ireland and InterTrade Ireland) and Venture Capital firms. Ena was a founding member and Chairperson (2001-2004) of BioConnect Ireland.
Ena is a Case Manager for Technology Transfer and is responsible for managing the identification, protection and commercialisation of UCD research outputs within the life sciences area.
Administrative Assistant, Knowledge Transfer
t: +353 1 716 3721
John provides administrative support to University College Dublin’s technology transfer team. He maintains the database of intellectual property, providing statistical information and attending to the supervision of patenting costs.
John has many years of experience in office management and administration. Before joining University College Dublin he worked with Aer Lingus and has also worked in academic administration in UCD’s School of Public Health.
John graduated with Bachelor of Arts (History and French) from University College Dublin and a Masters of Business Administration in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida.
John, Administrative Assistant, Technology Transfer, provides administrative support to the NovaUCD technology transfer team.
t: +353 1 716 3711
As Operations Manager Helen is the first point of contact for entrepreneurs and new ventures wishing to locate at NovaUCD, the University’s Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, or established companies wishing to locate at NexusUCD, the University’s Industry Partnership Centre.
Helen works with the Office’s facilities team in managing the physical space in both centres ensuring the needs of clients are met. She also has responsibility for the key financial areas of the Office.
Prior to joining University College Dublin Helen worked in both the public and private sector and was previously Chief Executive Officer, Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and National Donor Services Manager, Irish Blood Transfusion Service.
Helen has a degree in management from the Institute of Public Administration and has completed courses in communications, business and company law.
As Facilities Manager Santiago supports the client companies based at NovaUCD and at NexusUCD ensuring their needs are met. He is responsible for the planning and management of the physical facilities of both of these centres.
Senior Manager, New Ventures
t: +353 1 716 3728
Simon is responsible for the development and launch of New Ventures at University College Dublin and is the lead contact for Investors and Commercial Partners seeking to engage with UCD start ups.
During the last 15-years, Simon has founded a number of successful companies in the digital media and analytics space and has extensive experience in the translation of research to market through start-ups, product development and licensing. As a managing director, Simon has engaged in commercial academic partnerships through national funding schemes and within larger EU consortia under FP7 programmes.
Simon has also worked as a technology consultant to public and private organisations on matters relating to digital transformation and ICT including the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Institute.
Prior to this, he was based in Los Angeles as a Sales Director for Audio Processing Technology Inc, managing the sale and licensing of digital audio compression technology built upon IP developed at Queens University Belfast.
Simon has won several awards for entrepreneurship and innovation including the Dublin Chamber of Commerce David Manley Award, ICT Innovation Award (UK) and a number of Digital Media Awards for product innovation and startups.
Simon graduated with an MSc in International Business from Trinity College Dublin where his focus was on the transformative impact of digital media and technology on cultural heritage institutions and media organisations in Europe.
Simon is Senior Manager of New Ventures at NovaUCD and is responsible for attracting investment capital and forming teams to create high performance start-up companies that will bring UCD innovations to market.
Innovation Education Manager
t: +353 1 716 3715
Caroline is responsible for providing and supporting a variety of innovation related education programmes and initiatives across the University which also includes outreach to second-level education.
Programmes and initiatives offered include specialised training courses for graduate students, researchers, technology transfer professionals and senior executives and managers from industry. These programmes are designed to help develop professional skills in the management and commercial exploitation of technology and innovative concepts.
Caroline also runs the annual TEDxUCD event, to help showcase the UCD community, staff, students and alumni.
Prior to joining University College Dublin Caroline worked in the IT industry for 10 years in the area of enterprise software and business consulting. She worked internationally with SAP, Accenture and Avnet Technology Solutions and has experience in a range of sectors including FMCG, oil & gas, manufacturing, financial services, software industry, hospitality and publishing. Caroline was also a certified SAP Software Consultant & Trainer who responsible for delivery of courses to the industry in the US and the EU.
Caroline graduated with a BA (Economics) and an MBS from University College Dublin.
Caroline, Innovation Education Manager, is responsible for providing and supporting a variety of innovation related education programmes and initiatives across the University which also includes outreach to second-level education.
Commercialisation Support Executive
Nicole is a Commercialisation Support Executive within the New Ventures and ConsultUCD teams at NovaUCD. In this role Nicole is dedicated to delivering innovation and commercialisation strategies. Her responsibilities include organising entrepreneurship programmes and facilitating relationships with business partners, mentors, and investors to support research teams and entrepreneurs.
As an Account Manager at Cisco in Amsterdam, she orchestrated the management of 80+ accounts, collaborating with C-level executives to execute IT strategies around cybersecurity, collaboration, network, and data centers architecture, achieving the target of $1.2 billion per fiscal half.
At IBM in Milan, as a Digital Strategy Consultant she delivered cloud technologies and data strategies across a spectrum of industries, including travel and transportation, fashion and consumer goods, smart city and mobility, as well as banking and pharma.
At Talent Garden as Corporate Transformation Consultant she leveraged Design Thinking methodology and an Agile approach to spearhead transformative initiatives in UX and UI within corporate structures.
She moved into the education sector at NID (New Design Institute) as a Product Manager, where she played a pivotal role in redesigning the overall strategy, crafting new education programs, and expanding revenue streams.
Nicole holds an MSc in Innovation and Technology Management from Unicatt, a programme that uniquely intersects business, physics, and computer science, She won the International Honor Program at Stanford University, delving into Technology Entrepreneurship and Silicon Valley Innovation Academy, culminating in a project focused on power-bank sharing.
An entrepreneur at heart, Nicole founded a non-profit company dedicated to organizing TEDxPerugia events, managing a formidable team of 40+ individuals, and securing partnerships with local institutions and companies, raising €80k through donations.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Nicole's classical studies knowledge encompasses Latin, ancient Greek, history, literature, and philosophy. Nicole is an intrepid solo traveler, enjoying hiking "El Camino de Santiago de Compostela" in 2018, passionate about skiing, surfing and video games.
Head of ConsultUCD
t: +353 1 716 3714
Elizabeth is responsible for developing a professional and commercial managed consultancy service to facilitate access and support engagement between business, industry and University College Dublin. This includes facilitating and supporting UCD academics and professional staff to engage in consultancy with external clients.
Elizabeth is an experienced business consultant who has worked for over 15 years in consultancy in Ireland. Elizabeth’s clients included large Irish and UK banks, life assurance companies and other financial service companies.
Elizabeth has also worked in several large organisations across the public sector in Ireland and held a senior strategic and development role with Davy, Ireland’s largest stockbroker and wealth manager.
Elizabeth graduated with a BSc (Chemistry) and a MBA from University College Dublin and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Elizabeth Nolan, Head of ConsultUCD, is responsible for developing a professional and commercial managed consultancy service to facilitate access and support engagement between business, industry and UCD. This includes facilitating and supporting UCD academics and professional staff to engage in consultancy with external clients.
Director, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre
Gary Ryan is Director of AgTechUCD, based at the purpose-built AgTechUCD Innovation Centre at UCD Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare
AgTechUCD works with early-stage startups and SMEs with innovative products and services in the AgTech, Agrifood, Veterinary and Equine sectors to develop concepts into commercially viable businesses.
AgTechUCD delivers a suite of programmes and tailored supports for startups within its sectoral areas including innovation days, business incubator facilities and Agccelerator, a dedicated agtech accelerator programme.
By virtue of its location at UCD Lyons Farm, the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre offers the only Irish on-farm workspace hub designed around agri technology innovators and start ups, while being close to Dublin and within minutes of the N7.
AgTechUCD, in conjunction with UCD Lyons Farm, can provide innovators with access to on-farm testing and trialling of products and services in a real-world setting.
Before joining AgTechUCD, Gary worked as a management consultant from 2021 to 2023, primarily in the agri-space, driving enhancements in operational performance and efficiency in client businesses.
Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA), the representative body for Ireland’s agricultural machinery sector for over 12 years.
Gary is a University of Limerick Business Studies graduate and has spent much of his career in the agri-sector. There have been some non-agri related roles along the way but the lure of the agricultural industry and its related sectors has always proven too strong to resist.
Gary believes that the types of businesses and technology that AgTechUCD engages with and supports form the next frontier for Irish and global agribusiness with many innovations developing on Ireland’s recognised strengths in grass based production while also enhancing sustainability but simultaneously maintaining and growing profitability.
Manager, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre
Leo is Manager of the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre based at the UCD Lyons Research Farm in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Leo will be responsible for the performance and management of the Centre’s activities including events
Leo is an experienced agricultural research professional with an expertise in fostering relationships with farmers and other agricultural professionals within the industry. He has extensive experience in agricultural consultancy, delivering farmer training sessions, organising and managing research trials, and producing research communication and extension materials.
Prior to joining UCD Leo worked as an Agricultural Consultant in the Northeast of Ireland, advising beef, dairy and tillage farmers on best management practices and as an Agricultural Research Scientist in Melbourne, Australia, working on insecticide resistance research projects.
Leo has a degree in Agricultural Science from UCD and has completed courses in Insecticide Resistance Management and People and Change in Agriculture.
Communications and Media Relations Manager
t: +353 1 716 3712
Micéal is responsible for communicating University College Dublin’s innovation mission, vision, objectives, activities and achievements to internal and external stakeholders using a variety of communication channels.
He is responsible for managing NovaUCD’s press office and media relations activities which includes providing a PR service to NovaUCD and NexusUCD clients and UCD spin-out companies.
Prior to joining University College Dublin Micéal worked for Royal Dutch Shell as a petroleum engineer in the Netherlands and in the Sultanate of Oman. During this time he was a member and leader of multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams charged with the exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in both offshore and onshore locations.
Micéal also worked in Shell’s headquarters in The Hague as a member of a consultancy group whose objective was to provide global Shell companies with strategic solutions to their complex technical, operational and investment problems.
Micéal graduated with a BSc (Hons) from University College Dublin, an MSc (Petroleum Geology) from Aberdeen University and an MBA from University College Dublin.
Micéal is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII).
Senior Manager, Strategic Innovation Partnerships
m: +353 1 716 3716