Health Project Wins Top Award at the 2019 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp
A talented group of teenagers from Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Offaly have claimed the winning spot at the 2019 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp with a health project entitled ‘Helping Hemp Heal’.
The team impressed a panel of expert judges with their well-planned and thought out business pitch which they presented following the intensive four-day Bootcamp held at NovaUCD.
The full title of their project was ‘Helping Hemp Heal - The design of a nano-formulation to increase the absorption of cannabidiol in the gastro-intestinal tract.’
The project was created by Jennifer McCarthy, Kinsale Community School, Cork as her entry to the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition held in January this year.
The other members of the Bootcamp winning team were; Danila Fedotov, North Monastery Secondary School, Cork; Michael Kirby, C.B.S. Secondary School, Kerry; Roísín O'Connor, from Offaly and a student Presentation Secondary School, Thurles; and Jack O’Connor, Ardscoil Ris, Limerick.
Only a small proportion of the therapeutic ingredient in hemp oil (Cannabidiol (CBD)) is absorbed into the blood stream when hemp oil products are taken by mouth. This is due to Hemp oil’s low solubility in the aqueous fluids in the gastro-intestinal tract (GI).
For CBD to enter the bloodstream and exert a therapeutic effect, GI fluids must carry CBD to the intestinal walls for absorption. The poor solubility of Hemp oil limits the absorption of CBD. The aim of Helping Hemp Heal project is to develop a nano-formulation of Hemp oil and surfactants that would enhance GI absorption.
Pictured (l-r) at NovaUCD are; Emer Richardson, BT (team mentor), Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Danila Fedotov, Jennifer McCarthy, Cork; Michael Kirby, Kerry; Roisin O'Connor, Offaly; and Jack O'Connor, Limerick and Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland
Anna O’Connor, St. Angela’s College, Cork was recognised as the best individual student at the Bootcamp for demonstrating her in-depth understanding of the process of bringing an idea on paper all the way through to project commercialisation.
Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland said, “The BT Business Bootcamp has been an integral part of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition programme for ten years, and in that time I am proud to say that many of our alumni have gone on to huge success in business."
"What is even more significant is that some of these successful entrepreneurs returned this week to share their experiences with our new Bootcamp graduates, to offer guidance on how to take an idea and transform it into a business proposition."
Thirty students who took part in this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition were selected to participate on the 4-day Bootcamp. The aim of the Bootcamp, designed and delivered by BT Ireland and NovaUCD, is to equip students with practical skills and knowledge to transform a creative idea into a viable business proposition.
During the Bootcamp, the students, selected because they displayed particular business ambition, are shown how to set up a company, write a business plan, create a marketing campaign, draft a budget and present their ideas competently to senior academics and business people.
Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “University College Dublin, through UCD Research and Innovation, is delighted to continue working in partnership with BT Ireland to deliver the annual BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp at NovaUCD."
She added, “The aim of the Bootcamp is assist the participating students in developing their entrepreneurial thinking and understanding of the steps required to convert their innovative STEM ideas into sustainable businesses."
She concluded, “I would like to congratulate the overall Bootcamp winners, and all the students who participated on this year’s programme, and I hope in the near future to see their ideas transformed into businesses impacting Ireland’s economy and society."
Throughout the Bootcamp the groups were coached by a dedicated BT business mentor and learned the fundamentals of critical business applications such as patenting, business development, sales, marketing and presentation skills.
8 March 2019
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, t: + 353 1 716 3712, e: firstname.lastname@example.org.