Case Study: ENBIO – Collaborating with University College Dublin
ENBIO is a world leading, specialised coatings company. The company has invented a technology called CoBlast, which offers industry the potential to redefine the performance, function and value of metals across all sectors.
Deep space travel poses many significant environmental challenges to spacecraft. To minimise the risk, protective outer coatings are required.
ENBIO had worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a thermal control coating. When ESA asked the company for a white version, ENBIO contacted Professor Kenneth Stanton, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering for assistance.
This was the start of a long-term collaborative research project leading to the development and commercial delivery, in 2017, of SolarWhite, a thermo-optical coating developed to reflect radiation and protect spacecrafts. Rigorously tested for space-flight readiness, it is the only qualified white coating on the €1.7 billion Solar Orbiter mission.
In 2017, ENBIO secured additional funding to further develop SolarWhite. It has doubled its workforce, located both in Dublin and Clonmel including locating new laboratories at UCD to maximise the benefits of the research and has benefitted from recruitment of graduates and postgraduates involved in the collaboration over the years.
The UCD Technology Transfer Team at NovaUCD supported ENBIO in its research collaborations, filing a patent application and subsequently licensing the patented technology to the company.
Additional support was provided to the company, when it located at NovaUCD and in the application process for additional research funding. The company is now an alumnus of NovaUCD.
In 2018 UCD was awarded the Knowledge Transfer Ireland ‘Collaborative Research Impact Award’ for this research collaboration with ENBIO.
“Collaborative research with UCD not only led to a breakthrough technology but enabled us to double our workforce, and was transformative for the company’s business model”.
John O’Donoghue, CEO, ENBIO