Knowledge Transfer Ireland announce shortlist for 2022 Impact Awards

12 October 2022

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) has today announced the shortlist for the 2022 Impact Awards, with the winners to be announced on December 1st, 2022, at a ceremony in Dublin. The Impact Awards are returning in person following virtual events in 2020 and 2021.

The Annual KTI Awards recognise significant impact and achievements coming from in knowledge transfer, the commercialisation of publicly funded research nationwide and engagement with research system across the third level and other similar State research institutions. In particular, these awards pay tribute to the work of those within Ireland’s Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) around the country who provide a vital link between industry and academic research.

Awards will be presented across three categories in the 2022 Impact Awards. The first category, the Commercialisation Impact Award, recognises successful outcomes from licensing rights to technology or intellectual property or through the creation of a spinout company. The shortlisted entries for the Commercialisation Impact Award are:

Trinity College Dublin & SilverCloud Health: Spun out from Trinity College Dublin in 2011, SilverCloud Health has developed a system which helps patients suffering with mental health conditions. SilverCloud was recently acquired by US healthcare firm Amwell in a deal worth over $300 million and has allowed the company to grow its headcount and position itself for the launch of further apps.

University College Cork & Adiso Therapeutics: Spin out from University College Cork in 2016 Artugen Therapeutics went on to become Adiso Therapeutics which specialises in developing therapies for patients with chronic and progressive inflammatory diseases. They have seen particular success with identifying a treatment for prevention of recurrent Clostridioides Difficile Infection (CDI), leading them to receive fast track approval from America’s Food and Drug Administration.

University of Limerick and Class Medical Ltd: Class Medical was spun out from the University of Limerick in 2014 and develops systems to prevent complications from urethral trauma. One of their products, a Trans-Urethral Catheter Safety Valve, has prevented approximately 30 patients from suffering severe injury this year. To date, Class Medical has raised $2.5 million in venture funding and has been recognised as a High Potential Start Up by Enterprise Ireland.

The second category, the Industry Engagement Award, recognises and celebrates knowledge transfer success when publicly funded research performing organisations and companies work together through collaborative research or consultancy. The shortlisted entries for the Industry Engagement Award are:

Teagasc with Independent Milk Laboratories (IML), FBA Laboratories and Kerry Group: IML, FBA and Kerry Group have worked extensively with Teagasc over the last 2 years on a consultancy basis to build out testing that will further safeguard Ireland’s milk products used in dairy-based infant formula and reduce waste in the production process. This has been achieved by accessing skills, expertise and technology at Teagasc to investigate the presence of potential harmful residues which can be found in common disinfectants used to clean milk machines.

Trinity College Dublin with Kerry Group: Trinity College Dublin and Kerry Group have a longstanding partnership in joint research and innovation. This partnership has led to new applications and markets for one of Kerry Group’s proprietary ingredients, Wellmune. Based on the success of the partnership, Kerry Group entered into a three year “Researchers in Residence” pilot programme with the university in December 2021. The programme immerses Kerry Group researchers in the lab at Trinity College Dublin to build on research to date.

University of Limerick with Carbery Food Ingredients Ltd: Carbery Food Ingredients has worked with research teams at the University of Limerick consistently in recent years, including on a project to develop a new whey protein, Optipep 4Power that launched to market in 2021 and is targeted at the high performance sport market including CrossFit and MMA.

The final category for the 2021 KTI Impact Awards, the Future Forward Award, seeks to recognise knowledge transfer activities that have strong potential for future impact, but may still be at the early stages of development or roll out. The shortlisted entries for the Future Forward Award are:

Trinity College Dublin and ProVerum: ProVerum is developing a medical device to assist older men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common bladder condition in men over 50. The company employs 25 people and announced Series A funding of €30 million in January this year, positioning itself for significant future growth.

University College Dublin and PlasmaBound: PlasmaBound develops environmentally sustainable bonding solutions for use in advanced manufacturing. Since being spun out from UCD in 2017, the company has increased its headcount fivefold, become a supplier to the European Space Agency and is in validation trials with over 30 companies around the globe.

University of Galway and Relevium: Relevium is developing novel gel-based treatments for painful joint disorders and having developed the first application of its kind to treat knee osteoarthritis for which there is currently no adequate treatment. With 560 million people worldwide suffering with the condition, Relevium is well positioned for its next phase of growth.

Imelda Lambkin, Manager – Disruptive Technologies, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer at Enterprise Ireland, said:

“There are some incredible stand out examples of collaboration between industry and publicly funded research on this year’s Impact Awards shortlist. Each one is providing solutions to real challenges which industry and society are facing each day, and they are solutions that are backed up by lasting partnerships, some many years in the making. This year was a particularly competitive collection of entrants, and the judging team have their work cut out in choosing the eventual winners in advance of our awards presentation in December.”

Read more about KTI's 2022 Impact Awards