EIGHT NUI GALWAY RESEARCH PROJECTS SELECTED FOR COMMERCIALISATION SUPPORT

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has announced funding to facilitate the commercialisation of research from NUI Galway. Eight projects have been funded through the SFI Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, which is run in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and supports researchers undertaking applied research projects that demonstrate the potential for strong economic impact.

A total of €782,279 was awarded to NUI Galway in areas of research including renewable energies, anti-microbial resistance, sustainable agriculture and Parkinson’s Disease.

Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed the awards: “Our research often leads to the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or services. This funding will give these eight researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their idea and the commercial opportunities associated with their work. There is huge potential here for both economic and societal impact.”

Speaking of the Awards, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am delighted to announce this investment in research commercialisation and entrepreneurship training, through the SFI TIDA programme. It will enable the research teams to take the first steps in developing new discoveries and inventions with commercial potential. As outlined in the Irish Government’s science strategy, Innovation 2020, we are committed to having one of the most highly skilled and innovative workforces in the world. With SFI-funded researchers receiving entrepreneurship training as part of these awards, we are helping to bring scientific and technological research to market.”

The SFI TIDA programme is designed to enable researchers to focus on the initial stages of an applied research project, facilitating researchers with the opportunity to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their project, directed toward the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or service that has the potential for further commercial development.

Speaking at the announcement, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is committed to investing in the translation of world-class research from the laboratory to market. We regularly see high-quality research discoveries that are likely to have strong economic impact potential; a key objective for Science Foundation Ireland is to increase the number of these discoveries that secure follow-on public or private investment. The SFI TIDA programme plays a key role in this process by providing funding to develop technologies, and by delivering training in entrepreneurship to support Ireland’s next generation of technology start-ups.”

The NUI Galway research activities awarded TIDA funding are:

– Dr Brian Ward, School of Physics, College of Science, NUI Galway Development of an instrument to improve the characterisation of turbulence at tidal energy sites, to assist the tidal renewable energy industry in optimising turbine efficiency.
– Professor James O’Gara, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway Evaluate new antimicrobials, biomaterials and therapeutic approaches for the treatment and prevention of antimicrobial resistant infections.
– Dr Sara Farrona, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway The use of beneficial microorganisms to increase crop resistance and yield under SFI’s Sustainable Agriculture category – Enhancing plant growth and resilience by Ensifer – mediated seed priming
– Professor Paul Murphy, College of Science, NUI Galway Design and synthesis of carbohydrate-based therapies for fibrosis.
– Dr Daniel O’Toole, College of Medicine, NUI Galway Development of a nebulised recombinant SOD protein for acute respiratory distress syndrome.
– Dr Thomas Barry, School of Natural Science, NUI Galway Culture independent diagnostics technologies for the rapid detection of Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria associated with water distribution system contamination.
– Dr Andrew Flaus, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway Optimised chromatin substrates for epigenetic drug screening.
– Dr Leo Quinlan, School of Medicine, NUI Galway Electrical stimulation cueing for the freezing of gait correction in people with Parkinson’s Disease.