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Posted: 03 Dec 2012

Enterprise Ireland 2012 Lifescience Commercialisation Award for UCD Professor

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD has presented UCD Professor Dolores O’Riordan with the Enterprise Ireland 2012 Lifescience Commercialisation Award.

Professor O’Riordan is Deputy Director of the UCD Institute of Food and Health and a leading researcher in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. She was presented with the award in recognition of her exemplary contribution to innovation in the food sector through collaboration with industry.

Pictured far right: Seán Sherlock TD presents Prof Dolores O'Riordan with the Enterprise Ireland 2012 Lifescience Commercialisation Award

Professor O’Riordan was one of three individuals presented with awards during Enterprise Ireland’s 2012 Big Ideas Showcase which took place in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on 29 Nov 2012.

“This event [Big Ideas Showcase] is about turning publicly-funded research into companies, spin-outs, intellectual property and jobs,” said Minister Sherlock.

“The Government is striving to create the right environment where ideas can be identified, protected and commercialised leading to the creation of much needed jobs for this economy.”

“The Government’s recently introduced Intellectual Property Protocol marks a major step change in Ireland’s approach to encouraging industry to collaborate with Ireland’s publicly funded research institutions.”

Professor O’Riordan has delivered numerous commercial projects for industry and has an impressive publishing and patenting record. She is a principal investigator in Food for Health Ireland, a large-scale collaborative research programme funded by Enterprise Ireland and four of Ireland’s largest dairy companies. The primary objective of this programme is to identify functional ingredients from milk which can form the basis of new products with defined health benefits for consumers.

With her research team, she has developed a patented ‘health food technology’ which has recently been licensed to Largo Foods (owners of the Tayto Brand) by UCD’s technology transfer office at NovaUCD to bring a ‘healthy snack product’ to market.

She has also been instrumental in developing a new strategy for the University to facilitate establishing industry partnerships for food product development.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in food research and I feel privileged to be part of the research community attempting to anticipate and satisfy the future needs of the food industry,” said Professor O’Riordan. “I really enjoy the challenge of translating academic research into a commercial environment and feel very fortunate to receive Enterprise Ireland funding that helps foster industrial partnerships.”

Professor Peter Clinch, UCD Vice-President for Innovation said, “At University College Dublin, two of our key innovation themes are putting the knowledge which emerges from our world-class research programmes to work and reaching out to establish collaborative partnerships with industry. This award recognises and rewards Dolores’ innovation achievements in both of these regards.”

The Enterprise Ireland 2012 Big Ideas Showcase introduced 19 new inventions developed by publicly-funded research. This event, the largest gathering of inventors and investors in the country, is a showcase for entrepreneurial and commercially focused researchers to present their ideas and investment opportunities and vie for the attention of over 300 potential investors and business partners.

The two other award recipients were Dr Alan Holland (University College Cork), winner of the ICT Commercialisation award and Dr Stephen Daniels (Dublin City University), winner of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Energy Commercialisation award.


UCD Institute of Food and Health

The intersection of food and health studies is one of University College Dublin’s priority research areas. The UCD Institute of Food and Health is a major campus-wide initiative to develop and conduct world class, multidisciplinary research into food and health.
The Institute is unique in Ireland and Europe in bringing together leading academics from all areas of food and health research, including:

  • Food Safety
  • Food and the Consumer
  • Food Production
  • Food Regulation
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Food Science
  • Food Biosystems.


UCD Innovation

Innovation is the third pillar of UCD’s core mission alongside teaching and learning, and research. The mission of UCD Innovation is to enhance the value and quality of UCD’s innovation activities in order to achieve a maximum impact for the University, its partners, and for social and economic life in Ireland in the wider world. At UCD there are four key innovation themes; inspiring creative graduates, putting knowledge to work; partnering with industry and growing and supporting new business.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Pictured far right: Seán Sherlock TD presents Prof Dolores O'Riordan with the Enterprise Ireland 2012 Lifescience Commercialisation Award
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