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Posted 12 December 2008

NovaUCD celebrates five years of successful commercialisation

Since it first opened its doors on the Belfield campus five years ago, NovaUCD has provided incubation space and related innovation services for 44 high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies. This includes 15 UCD spin-out companies which are commercialising research undertaken in the University. In addition 30 new ventures have used NovaUCD’s desk space facilities to undertake feasibility studies. Among the successful NovaUCD client companies are: BiancaMed, Celtic Catalysts, ChangingWorlds, Duolog Technologies and Visor.

Since 2004, 70 people and 46 projects have also completed NovaUCD’s Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP). The aim of this NovaUCD enterprise support programme is to assist entrepreneurs in the establishment and development of knowledge-intensive enterprises. Eleven new projects and 20 individuals are currently participating on the 2008 Programme which is due to end later this month. Former participants on the NovaUCD CCDP, which has run annually since 1996, now collectively employ 700 people.

Since the establishment of NovaUCD, UCD researchers have submitted 170 invention disclosures and a total of 122 patent applications have been filed by UCD for intellectual property arising from research in life sciences, engineering and information and communication technology.

Patent applications include 69 priority patent applications, 29 PCT (patent co-operation treaty) applications and 24 national/regional patent applications. In the last three years 24 licence agreements have also been signed with a range of indigenous and international companies.

“International experience shows that there is a long lead-time involved in commercialising the results of university research. NovaUCD’s growing success over the last 5-years clearly demonstrates that the public investment in UCD R&D is likely to yield a significant return to the Irish economy and society,” said Dr Pat Frain, Director, NovaUCD.

Twenty-four innovative new ventures with 200 employees are currently based at NovaUCD and occupy 90% of the available incubation space. An additional 10 early stage companies are also currently based in NovaUCD’s desk space.

“The ongoing growth in R&D funding and the strengthening of support for technology transfer is clearly having a positive impact on the commercialisation of UCD’s research output.” He added, “The number of invention disclosures has already reached one per week and this augurs well for our future efforts to commercialise the innovative ideas arising from our research programmes, including the generation of high-tech spin-out companies which are so essential for highly-skilled employment creation.” 


NovaUCD, which officially opened in October 2003, is University College Dublin’s €11 million Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre. NovaUCD is responsible for the implementation of UCD policies relating to the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from UCD’s research programmes.

NovaUCD also provides entrepreneurs and knowledge-based start-up companies with incubation facilities and a comprehensive business support programme. NovaUCD is also the main point of contact for companies seeking partners for collaborative research and advice on licensing and other commercial opportunities.

NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx.

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NovaUCD celebrates five years of successful commercialisation