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Posted 15 February 2010

Invention disclosures up 60% at UCD

New invention disclosures at University College Dublin are up by 60%, according to the latest figures released by NovaUCD. Researchers at the university reported 85 new invention disclosures in 2009, up from 53 the previous year. A total of 247 inventions have now been disclosed to NovaUCD over the past 5 years.

7 new UCD spin-out companies commercialising UCD research were established during 2009. One of these new companies, Equinome recently announced the launch of a breakthrough genetic test that can identify the optimum racing distance for individual Thoroughbred horses which has the potential to transform decision-making processes in the global bloodstock industry.

Forty-seven patent applications (up by 25% on 2008) including 25 priority, 17 PCT (patent co-operation treaty) and 5 national/regional applications were also filed by UCD during 2009.  These patents were filed for intellectual property arising from research taking place throughout the University’s Colleges, Schools and Institutes. A total of 88 priority patent applications have now been filed by UCD in the last 5-year period. In addition, over 50 licence agreements were concluded by UCD in the same period with a range of indigenous and international companies.

According to UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady, the results are particularly promising in the context of the TCD/UCD Innovation Alliance which aims to further enhance the entrepreneurial culture and support structure for innovators at the two universities and nationally.

“NovaUCD’s successes during 2009 clearly demonstrate that the public investment in R&D at UCD is yielding a significant return to the Irish economy and society,” says Dr Pat Frain, Director of NovaUCD. “The support received from Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative is continuing to have a significant impact on the pipeline of inventions and innovative ideas coming through NovaUCD’s technology transfer and innovation system.”

Since 2004, fifty high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies, have occupied incubation space at NovaUCD and availed of NovaUCD’s related innovation services. 156 new ventures, 15 in 2009 alone, and 235 individuals have also now completed NovaUCD’s Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP) which has run annually since 1996. NovaUCD’s CCDP assists academic and research entrepreneurs in bringing their innovative ideas from intellectual concepts to fully-developed and sound commercial business enterprises.

“Looking to the future we should recognise that the conversion to licence deals, new companies and much needed employment takes time and that one major issue is the need to ensure that early-stage campus companies have access to finance,” continues Dr Frain. “The recent international success achieved by UCD companies is particularly important in the present economic climate.  The $60 million sale of ChangingWorlds to Amdocs, a US quoted technology company; the €6 million investment in BiancaMed led by pan-European venture capital firm Seventure Partners; and the recent international media and industry attention attracted by Equinome, can only help to strengthen Ireland’s image as a knowledge-based economy.”

Twenty-six innovative companies, including Alternative Energy Resources (AER), winner of 2009 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 ‘Rising Star’ Award, BiancaMed, one of the companies recently shortlisted for the Irish Times Innovation Award 2010 and RendezVu, overall winner of the 2009 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Award, are currently located at NovaUCD.


University College Dublin’s 2009 Spin-out Companies

Aremon was established to provide validation of clinically relevant and qualified diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers, initially in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer. Founder: Professor Dolores Cahill, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

BioPlastech is commercialising a process which converts waste materials to a value-added, environmentally friendly (i.e. biodegradable) plastic. Founder: Dr Kevin O’Connor, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.

Capstan Healthcare is a veterinary healthcare company providing technology and product development services to the veterinary pharmaceutical market. Founder: Professor Alan Baird, UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine.

Crop Research specialises in the evaluation of the efficacy of agrochemicals for use in agriculture with a focus on the evaluation of fungicides for the control of crop diseases. Founder: Dr Tom McCabe, UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine.

Darius Medical is developing a low-cost, non-invasive medical device for early detection of coronary artery disease. Founder: Professor Scott Rickard, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering.

Equinome is developing genetic tests to optimise decision-making in the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses. Founders: Dr Emmeline Hill, UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine with Jim Bolger, the renowned Irish racehorse trainer and breeder. Equinome was the overall winner of NovaUCD’s 2009 Campus Company Development Programme.

Future Buildings Consulting (trading as ERG Consulting) is providing specialist services in sustainable building design and construction to the Irish and European building industries. Founders: Paul Kenny and Vivienne Brophy, UCD School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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