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UCD researchers receive €1.4m from SFI Strategic Partnership Award

Posted 07 June, 2024

Shane O’Connell, Head of Innovation, Marigot Ltd, Dr Aisling McEvoy, Director of Enterprise Partnerships at SFI, and Professor Kenneth Dawson, Project Co-Lead Credit: Jason Clarke

A team of researchers at University College Dublin seeking to better understand seaweed-based micronutrients has received €1.4 million from a Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Partnership Award.

This funding will be invested in a project titled ‘Bio-inspired particle architecture delivery technologies (Bio-PADT), led by Professors (opens in a new window)Kenneth Dawson, (opens in a new window)Yan Yan, (opens in a new window)Grace Mulcahy and (opens in a new window)David Brayden

Bio-PADT is a partnership between UCD and Marigot Ltd, which is spearheading the development of reliable platforms for micronutrient delivery.

“This partnership… aims to understand the mechanisms via which naturally occurring substances in the diet aid micronutrient delivery, and to use that knowledge to develop novel ‘naturally inspired’ health-products,” said Professor Dawson, Director of UCD's Centre for Bionano Interactions (CBNI).

Bio-PADT will explore opportunities to produce more effective and inexpensive food supplements from sustainable marine-derived raw materials such as seaweed.

Through this project, researchers will gain a better understanding of the mechanisms in how complex particle materials function.

Prof Grace Mulcahy, Dr Aisling McEvoy, SFI, Shane O’Connell, Marigot Ltd, Prof Kenneth Dawson, Prof Yan Yan and Prof David Brayden Credit: Jason Clarke

“Marigot Ltd’s core business involves the identification and development of naturally derived ingredients for the enhancement of human, animal and plant health,” said Michael Ryan, Managing Director, Marigot Ltd.

“During the last 26 years, Marigot Ltd has operated with a unique appreciation for the value of scientific research to generate further understanding of its raw materials and their application.

“The Bio-PADT project is a further demonstration of [our] commitment to scientific excellence by facilitating collaboration with Prof Dawson's team of leading scientists at UCD, with support from the industry focused SFI Strategic Partnership programme. 

“Marigot is excited by what the Bio-PADT project can deliver for nutrient delivery and particle interaction with biological barriers and the immune system. We envisage new discoveries which can be groundbreaking for treating micro-nutrient deficiencies and modulating inflammatory processes in human and animal applications.”

Announcing the new Strategic Partnership Award, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan TD said the Bio-PADT research project was “an excellent example of collaborative research bridging industry and academia”.

UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Professor Kate Robson Brown added that the partnership “combines UCD's advanced research strengths and strong links with industry to further our understanding of how Marine-derived raw materials can contribute to health and nutrition”. 

“The SFI Strategic Partnership Programme is pivotal in supporting research initiatives of scale with strong potential for delivering economic and societal impact, we are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Marigot Ltd under the programme and look forward to seeing the outcomes of this collaborative project.”

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie