UCD research partnerships receive over €22m from Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

Posted 22 April, 2021

Seven research partnerships with University College Dublin have received over €22 million after being awarded funding under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF).

The projects are among 29 that will together share €95m over the next 3 years following a funding round announced by An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD; Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD; and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy, TD.

“The pandemic and Brexit have combined to bring unprecedented economic challenges and volatility to our enterprise sector,” said An Tánaiste Varadkar.

“But with every challenge comes new opportunities and the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is dedicated to entrepreneurs and researchers working on some really exciting ideas to develop solutions to the problems we face.”

The successfully funded projects involving UCD researchers are:

  • CAMEO, which builds on UCD’s growing space-related research and innovation activities through the UCD Centre for Space Research, is to receive €6.4m.
    • The members of this consortium, led by UCD, are Professor Gregory O’Hare, UCD School of Computer Science; Vertice Integration Services Ltd T/A Vertice Cloud; BCC Risk Advisory Ltd T/A Edgescan; The Icon Group Ltd; Treemetrics Ltd; TechWorks Marine Ltd; EMC Information Systems International and Oracle Corporation Lt
  • GUARD, which is to receive €5.1m to use artificial intelligence to develop drones to detect drug smuggling.
  • iPATH-CAN, a project developing an AI tool to identify breast and prostate cancer patients with early-stage disease, will receive €3m.
  • SEMPRE, which is to receive €2.88 million to design and prototype a robotic drilling system and anchor template for the installation of micropiled anchor foundations
  • CHANNEL, a project looking to create a software platform to predict human sensory quality attributes of food products for great taste, health benefits and minimal waste, is to receive €1.87m.
    • The members of this consortium are Dr Ricardo Simon Carbajo, UCD School of Computer Science and CeADAR; Dawn Farm Foods Ltd (lead) and Creme Software Ltd.
  • PERSONA, which is to receive €1.57m, to develop the first innovative plasma sampling device for inflammatory diseases.
  • And E-Crop, which is to receive €1.5m to work on innovative agri-technologies that provide farmers and agri-advisory industries with the tools needed to monitor and improve crop health.

In addition to these seven projects, Manna, the world’s first aviation-grade B2B drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ company headquartered at NovaUCD, is a consortium partner in the MI-DRONE project which is to receive €2.88m to address consumer demand for fast, reliable, last-mile delivery using a drone.

Welcoming the funding Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said: “UCD is a strong supporter of the DTIF initiative which drives collaboration between the higher education sector’s research base and enterprises to support the development and adoption of new technologies and applications to deliver impact nationally and internationally.

“This strong involvement of UCD researchers reflects the strength and breadth of research and innovation activities taking place across our campus.”
The funding announced brings the total money awarded by the DTIF to date to €235 million.

The Fund, established under the National Development Plan in 2018, commits a total of €500 million of government funding, alongside enterprise co-funding of projects.

“DTIF is an important tool for realising our ambitions as a global innovation leader and a location for research excellence,” said Minister Harris.

“The level of investment being made today in cutting-edge technologies will create employment opportunities for our graduates and help to maintain Ireland as an attractive destination for top research talent.”

Further information on the 29 funded projects is available here.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)