University College Dublin Wins Two Knowledge Transfer Ireland 2019 Impact Awards

Pictured (l-r); Tom Flanagan, Prof. Orla Feely, Dr Stacey Kelly; Prof. Kevin O'Connor, Dr Alison Campbell; Bill Morrissey and Dr Ciaran O'Beirne. (Full caption below).

University College Dublin Wins Two Knowledge Transfer Ireland 2019 Impact Awards

University College Dublin, through NovaUCD, has won two (2) Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) 2019 Impact Awards.

The annual KTI Impact Awards, in five categories, recognise significant achievements in knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of research carried out in Irish Higher Education Institutions and publicly funded research organisations nationwide. The Awards pay tribute to the work of those within Ireland’s Knowledge Transfer Offices who provide a vital link between industry and the academic research. 

UCD and Glanbia won the Collaborative Research Impact Award for the AgriChemWhey project. This €22 million Horizon 2020 funded project, led by Glanbia in collaboration with UCD, through Professor Kevin O’Connor, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, is focused on the transformation of dairy waste products into high-value, bio-based products for growing global markets including biodegradable plastics, bio-based fertilisers and minerals for human nutrition.

UCD and Atlantic Therapeutics won the Licence2Market Impact Award. Atlantic Therapeutics, headquartered in Galway, develops professional and consumer medical devices to treat all types of incontinence and other associated disorders by modulating nerves of the pelvic floor thus strengthening the muscles.

Last year the company received FDA approval for its INNOVO therapy device, an externally worn electrical muscle stimulator, the first ever transcutaneous electrical stimulator cleared as a safe, clinically effective and non-invasive product to treat stress urinary incontinence. 

The INNOVO technology, comprising a patent application, now granted, and associated know-how was developed in collaboration with UCD through Professor Brian Caulfield, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and subsequently licensed to the company.

John Halligan TD, Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development said, “The Irish government has invested significantly in the country’s research and innovation capacity over the last 20 years and this long-term commitment has resulted in a strong ecosystem to support research commercialisation that is respected in Europe and beyond.”  

“It is critical that publicly funded research is put to work, boosting business productivity and competitiveness and generating growth and jobs. The winners of this year’s Impact Awards are exemplars of best practice in this regard, demonstrating how innovation, in a practical and effective way, can benefit the economy and wider society.”

Winners of the 2019 KTI Impact Awards were announced at an awards ceremony held in Dublin. Over 140 guests from knowledge transfer offices, academia, industry as well as investors and the wider business community attended the awards, where a keynote speech was delivered by former Microsoft executive and tech evangelist Clare Dillon.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I am delighted that UCD has won two KTI 2019 Impact Awards. This success is an indication of the range and quality of the research and innovation activities within UCD, in collaboration with companies such Glanbia and Atlantic Therapeutics, and it also reflects the strength of support provided to our research community by the knowledge transfer team at NovaUCD.”

KTI Director and Chair of the Judging Panel Dr Alison Campbell said, “The EU’s Innovation Scoreboard classifies Ireland as a “Strong Innovator” with our performance ranking favourably among our EU peers.”

“The Awards recognise and pay tribute to the work of those on the ground nationwide in Ireland’s Technology Transfer Offices who actually make this innovation happen, acting as a vital link between industry and academia. They provide the information to companies, support and manage the processes that allow commercialisation and collaboration to flourish, freeing up researchers and businesses to get on with the business of innovating.”

Finalists were evaluated by a panel of international experts that included Maxine Ficarra, CEO, PraxisAuril, the UK knowledge exchange and commercialisation organisation; Holly Wales Meadows, US Patent Attorney and Director, US-based knowledge transfer association AUTM; and Eavan O’Brien, Assistant Director for Impact and Partnerships, Irish Research Council.

Submissions were judged according to criteria such as the level of the impact delivered; the clarity and succinctness of the entry; the persuasiveness of the submission in outlining what it has achieved and why it is relevant to the category at hand; and the role that the local technology transfer office played in the activity.

Full caption pictured (l-r); Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation; Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact; Dr Stacey Kelly; Case Manager, Knowledge Transfer; Professor Kevin O'Connor, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science; Dr Alison Campbell, Director, KTI; Bill Morrissey, Glanbia Ireland and Dr Ciaran O'Beirne, Head Knowledge Transfer Services.


22 November 2019

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, UCD Research and Innovation, e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or Elizabeth Carvill, Communications Manager, Knowledge Transfer Ireland e:

Editors Notes

The other 2019 KTI Impact Award Winners were

  • The 2019 KTI Consultancy Impact Award was won by UCC for its engagement with global healthcare company Abbott Nutrition Ireland.
  • The 2019 KTI Spin-out Company Award was won by cyber security firm Nova Leah, a spin-out of Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • The 2019 KTI Achiever of the Year Award was jointly won by Fiona Neary, NUI Galway and Anthony Morrissey, UCC.
  • Special commendation was paid to Anu Sahni for her contribution to knowledge transfer at the National College of Ireland.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) makes it simpler for business and research performing organisations to work together. KTI aims to maximise the extent to which State-funded technology, ideas and expertise gets into the hands of business to drive innovation. KTI is located in Enterprise Ireland and funded by Enterprise Ireland with co-financing from the Irish Universities Association.

The UCD Knowledge Transfer team, based at NovaUCD, through its extensive commercial experience and drawing on its network of industry experts, patent agents and legal experts, supports UCD researchers to commercially exploit their research outputs for the benefit of the University and the wider community.