The winners of the Invention of the Year Awards 2016 have been announced this week. This year’s award winners were from UCC, CIT Nimbus and Tyndall Institute.
The ICT Invention Award was bestowed upon a new photonics device with super luminescent LED, known as SLED. Developed by a team of inventors at Tyndall Institute Institute, led by Pleun Maaskant along with Brian Corbett and Mahbub Akhter, this technology will be potentially used in driverless cars, automotive sensing, communications, gesture recognition and environmental monitoring among others.
The Life Sciences Invention Award was given to UCC’s Centre for Research in Vascular Biology Director, Professor Noel Caplice, for his stem cell invention which has developed a way to grow stem cells taken from a patient’s own blood onto a degradable scaffold (‘stent-like’ structure). The implanted device triggers new microvessels to grow around the blocked portion of the artery to restore normal blood flow. This unique Cell Therapy-based device could revolutionize the treatment of coronary artery disease.
Finally, Professor Richard Linger of CIT’s Nimbus Centre also received the Invention of the Year award for his Energy Optimisation System. His cloud based predictive energy control optimization system called SESOP gives customers low risk access to the electricity wholesale market. It combines real-time data and advanced software algorithms to help people choose the timing of energy use to save up to 25% of energy costs.
UCC leads the UCT consortium, which also includes CIT and Teagasc, focused on supporting the commercialisation of research. The consortium is one of eight across Ireland that are funded through the Enterprise Ireland Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI) programme which builds capacity and capability in this specialist area.
The funding programme is managed through Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) which has a national role to drive innovation in Ireland by making it simpler for companies to access state-funded technology, ideas and expertise. As such, KTI works closely with the Technology Transfer Offices around the country.
Director of Technology Transfer at UCC, Tim Roche says, "The pioneering research of innovators, exemplified by the award winners of the Invention of the Year, is being nurtured within our universities, colleges and research institutions.
He added, "Our engagement with industry to licence and commercialise these incredible innovations continues to bring more and more research to market, creating jobs, improving our lives and providing unique and creative solutions to the challenges of modern day living."