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Search for Northern Ireland’s best Intellectual Property (IP) nears completion


The 10 hottest Intellectual Property concepts in Northern Ireland have been shortlisted for the final stages of the NISP CONNECT £25k Awards.

From solar-powered water purifying devices to eliminating the need for virus scans on PCs, the quest to find the next big thing is unearthing “life-saving and industry-shaping gems”, according to organisers.

And two of the biggest names in UK venture capitalism have been drafted in to judge which team could be ‘the next big thing’.

• Donald Fitzmaurice, Partner at ePlanetVentures, has helped pioneer the development of a true global venture capital business model that has yielded successful exits with an aggregate market value of over $20 Billion. Professor Fitzmaurice boasts over 150 publications and patents to his name.

• Sigurður Sævarsson, Mr. Sigurður Sævarsson joins Thule Investments on the back of over 10 years in venture backed companies in the telecommunications industry. Most recently Sigurður held the position of VP Product Management and Marketing with Mobile Cohesion Ltd. Having co-founded the company.

The £25k Award is an entrepreneurial programme that’s designed to flush out the region’s hottest intellectual property then transform these into commercial products. The winners will be revealed at the £25K Awards Event which is to be held at Northern Ireland Science Park’s newly refurbished Pump House on September 25.

Director of NISP CONNECT, Steve Orr, added that the process this year has been less about competition and more about equipping great concepts for a smooth transition into commercialisation.

The Bank of Ireland has come up with the bulk of the funding support for this year’s awards. The bank’s Director of Business Banking in Northern Ireland, Mark Cunningham, said that this is an extremely exciting time to be associated with the Northern Ireland research base.

Launched in April, the awards netted a record 71 entries that have been whittled down to four University of Ulster teams and six teams from Queen’s University Belfast.

SHORTLISTEES… AT A GLANCE
The 10 finalists are drawn from across four separate categories. These are:

HiTech:
• Affyon Networks - an innovative microchip deployed within internet infrastructure which replaces PC’s software security tools [QUB].
• AUDIOSlalom - offers a convenient slalom training aid on any body of water without need for the expensive installation of a slalom course [UU].

BioTech
• Omega –provides increased protection of patient’s airway during anaesthesia by preventing stomach inflation and possible regurgitation [QUB / Belfast Trust].
• Orthocorp – technology for manufacturing bone substitute structures that could contribute in treatment of diseases such as osteoporosis [QUB].
• Proteocypher – assesses biopsy samples from patients with a range of autoimmune diseases, so that use of high cost drugs can be rationalised [QUB / Ulster].
• Transtow – manufactures Retract-a-Seat seating systems which facilitate the travel of wheelchair users on public transport, and eliminating the need for 24 hour notice [QUB - Undergrad team].

CleanTECH
• Aquasere – new approach to creating super water repellent materials [QUB].
• Clean Tech Global – creating solar disinfection device for drinking water [UU].

Digital Media
• Disability Heroes - offering innovative E-Learning Tools to enhance disability awareness [UU].
• The Big Word Project - the project employs viral marketing to spread word about a product or project. It is a new and innovative way of promoting your website [UU].

ENDS

For further information contact Sarah Bloomer on 028 9039 3837.

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

NISP CONNECT - NISP CONNECT is an independent, non-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship by accelerating the growth of promising technologies and early stage companies. Our core purpose is to connect people, technology and capital to drive innovation in Northern Ireland. We want to help to establish a thriving entrepreneurial eco-system where innovation, vision and talent flourish.

A collaboration between Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP), the University of Ulster and Queens University, Belfast, NISP CONNECT acts as an ‘honest, neutral broker’ within the region through provision of direct delivery programmes, mentorship/coaching services, educational seminars and events geared at developing and encouraging entrepreneurial ideas, talent and leadership.


Publisher Contact Information:

Northern Ireland Science Park
02890 393 837
sarah.bloomer@morrowcommunications.com

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