Minister English announces winners of KTI Impact Awards

Awards highlight benefits of working with Irish Research Performing Organisations as number of companies engaging with the research base increase

UCD and Waterford Institute of Technology swept the boards at the annual KTI Impact Awards presented by Damien English, T.D., Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation in Dublin on Wednesday 23rd March, 2015.

KTI Impact Awards 2015

Winners of the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Awards (l-r) Dr. Felicity Kelliher, Waterford Institute of Technology,  Professor Eoin Casey, UCD co-founder of OxyMem and Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, Waterford Institute of Technology who received their awards from Damien English T.D. Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation and Dr. Alison Campbell, Director, Knowledge Transfer Ireland. The awards recognise researchers who have made a positive impact on Irish business.

UCD and its technology transfer office, NovaUCD, took both the Licence2Market Impact Award and the Spin-out Company Impact Award for the UCD spin-out OxyMem.

Waterford Institute of Technology also scooped 2 awards; the Research2Business Collaborative Impact Award was presented to Dr. Felicity Kelliher and Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra won the Consultancy Impact Award.

Congratulating the winners Minister English said “the KTI Impact Awards celebrate the significant impact of commercially valuable knowledge transferred from the research system into Irish industry. It is important to recognise the successful impact achieved by industry in Ireland through the acquisition of new technologies and intellectual property or by getting expert advice from State-funded researchers and the Universities, Institutes of Technology and research institutes where they work”.

According to Dr. Campbell, “KTI’s aim is to support the economic and social return from State investment in research by encouraging companies to engage with the research base in Ireland to help them innovate. KTI is playing an important part by making the knowledge, expertise and IP available within our research performing organisations more visible to companies so that they may use research and innovation to drive competitive advantage and sustainable job creation".

KTI was launched in May 2014 and is operated in partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association. KTI’s web portal provides companies with easy access to the resources available to them from State-funded research – from expertise to technologies, from intellectual property to facilities and equipment.

Details on the Award Winners

The Research2Business Collaborative Impact Award recognises collaborative research between Irish publicly funded RPOs and industry that has led to clear benefits for the company or companies involved. Dr. Felicity Kelliher, a senior lecturer in management at the School of Business at Waterford Institute of Technology was presented with this award for her engagement with hundreds of SMEs – in particular with the tourism sector, Ireland’s second largest service industry – enabling them to adopt best practice, improve their business and integrate research findings into developing their staff and companies.

The Licence2Market Impact Award recognises a commercial product or service that is based on a licence to intellectual property rights from an Irish publicly funded RPO – and its path to licence. Professor Mark Rogers in the winning UCD entry developed a novel diagnostic test for BSE which was licensed to Enfer Scientific by NovaUCD, UCD’s technology transfer office. Enfer Scientific further developed the technology into one of the first commercially robust diagnostics for BSE to get EU regulatory approval and contributed to the rapid expansion by the Tipperary company.

The Spin-Out Company Impact Award recognises a spin-out company from an Irish publicly funded RPO that has achieved a significant event in the previous year. In OxyMem’s case, this included securing several rounds of investment, successfully delivering field trials of its membrane aerated biofilm (MABR) wastewater treatment technology, creating 28 full-time jobs at its new Athlone facility and securing early orders. The award was presented to the company founders Professor Eoin Casey and Dr. Eoin Syron both academics in the UCD School of Chemical Engineering and to Ciaran O’Beirne, manager of technology transfer at NovaUCD, in recognition of the support provided by the TTO to developing the company proposition and leading on licence and company formation agreements

The Consultancy Impact Award recognises a researcher or research group at an Irish publicly funded RPO whose consultancy advice has resulted in a clear economic or public benefit to a business or public sector organisation.

Both Felicity and Ramesh have been actively supported by the industry services team at WIT.

Read more about the KTI Impact Awards 2015 and the shortlisted nominees and the impact of the research work in the awards booklet.