MTU celebrates staff achievements at annual Innovation Awards

Thursday 16th May 2024

Munster Technological University (MTU) held its third Innovation Awards event on Wednesday 15th May at the Nimbus Research centre.

The awards are an annual event that recognise and acknowledge the work and effort that staff have put into their inventions and research industry collaborations. The awards also encourage researchers to engage in the research commercialisation process. Today’s event focused on the innovative projects staff worked on during 2023.

 Josette O’Mullane, Innovation and Enterprise Manager at MTU, said "These annual awards are an opportunity for us in the Innovation and Enterprise Office to shine a spotlight on the inventive endeavours of the research community. MTU has approximately 100 ongoing innovation projects with enterprise partners and continues to be the partner of choice for so many companies in the region and nationally."

The award categories included:

  • Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) Awards - 'Best Commercial and Best Technical IDF'
  • Industry Research Collaboration Award
  • Innovator Achievement Award


The different categories were judged by a panel of experts from MTU, University of Limerick and University College Cork.

Researchers from the Shannon Applied Bioresource Centre, MTU and Marigot Ltd, the naturally derived ingredients company, were awarded the Best Commercial IDF award this year. Dr Olusoji Demehin and the team’s invention included an extract from waste which showed the ability to reduce the level of a type of mycotoxin that causes contamination in food material. 

The Best Technical IDF went to researchers in the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) at MTU and the School of Pharmacy at UCC, where they developed a technique that can be implemented to develop handheld devices for monitoring reconstitution accurately of in-vial lyophilised products.


The MTU Industry Research Collaboration award was presented to the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) team and their industry partner, Pilot Photonics, for their work on a new Frequency Comb Laser. These are high-precision tools for measuring and detecting different frequencies of light. Potential applications include optical metrology, frequency-chain generation, optical atomic clocks, high-precision spectroscopy, GPS, and optical telecommunications. The CAPPA team includes Dr William Whelan-Curtin and Dr Chinna Devarapu at MTU. 

Dr Donna O'Shea, Chair of Cybersecurity in MTU, was presented with the Innovator Achievement Award 2024. This award was an individual recognition of Dr O'Shea's contribution to innovation, particularly for her thought leadership and dedication to cybersecurity within MTU and beyond.

Speaking about the award, Dr O’Shea said "I am thrilled to receive this award in recognition of MTU’s thought leadership in cybersecurity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This impact we have achieved is due to the commitment of the Cyber Explore research team which I am privileged to lead, and the support and leadership from MTU’s Innovation & Enterprise function. Cybersecurity innovation is critically important, as we need to develop indigenous cyber capabilities that deal with the increasingly complex and expanding threat landscape that is a consequence of digitalisation, providing opportunities for engaging existing workforce talent in an innovation economy, supporting the creation of new start-ups, jobs and investment while at the same time developing cybersecurity capabilities within our own borders."

Munster Technological University recently secured €1.2 million funding for knowledge transfer from Enterprise Ireland’s KT Boost programme, marking a key milestone for the University in driving socio-economic growth through research commercialisation and collaboration with enterprise. The KT Boost Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027.

Source: MTU