Varadis – UCC Spin-out

UCC spin-out company Varadis manufactures and sells radiation devices called RADFETS for use in medical, space, safety, environmental, laboratory and other applications.

The company was formed in 2019 through a series of funding supports that moved the technology from the lab to an investible business. Fundamental to this was the Innovation Office at UCC working with the Tyndall National Institute to undertake an EI Feasibility Study followed by a successful application for EI Commercialisation Funding of €600,000.

The Commercialisation Fund award allowed for standardisation of the fabrication process, improving the yield and increasing the device sensitivity of RADFETS beyond what had already been possible at Tyndall.

The Innovation Office licensed the underpinning intellectual property to the company and supported through drafting of a shareholder’s agreement. Brad Wrigley recognises the key role played by the Innovation Office in bringing about the formation of the company.

“The complexity of the IP and Tech Transfer was certainly something that was underestimated by the Varadis team when the spin-out process kicked off, given the challenge of transferring out IP from 20+ years of research, while at the same time balancing Tyndall’s requirements to continue research in the area. The Innovation Office at UCC was an integral partner throughout the process, bringing together all the key parties, including enabling the involvement of the academic founders in the venture”.

Varadis continues to work closely with UCC and Tyndall where there are ongoing collaborations. The company is also an Enterprise Ireland HPSU.

To date the company’s customer base has grown significantly across both the space exploration and government sectors. Varadis now has over twenty new contracts with satellite manufacturers in the US, AsiaPac and EMEA. The company plans to build greater presence within Enterprise, Healthcare, Government and Industrial sectors and has partnered with three separate distribution partners in North America, Asia and Europe. Varadis has also entered into early-stage strategic alliances with two key technology partners on larger system opportunities that plan to open up new and exciting opportunities. Company sales exceeded initial pre-spinout forecasts.

Varadis’ devices are currently fabricated, and research and development continue via a collaboration with Tyndall and the European Space Agency.

Publish date: 2019