Winner of the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation Announced

Pictured (l-r): Barry Egan Enterprise Ireland; Patricia McLoughlin, Galway University Foundation; JP Prendergast, CEO BioMedPharma-West Ltd.; Dr Grace McCormack, Head of Zoology, NUI Galway, Dr Denisio Togashi, co-inventor, Dr Margaret Rae, presenter and winner of award; Michael McNicholas, CEO, Ervia Ltd.; and Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President.
Oct 23 2014 Posted: 10:23 IST

Last week saw the final challenge for the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation, support by the Tony Ryan Trust, as four finalists from NUI Galway presented their innovations from the Marine, Energy and Environment sector.

The award, a €25,000 fund to advance the technology, will be presented to Dr Margaret Rae and her team in the University’s Ryan Institute, for their ground-breaking work on a new cancer treatment. This early stage ground breaking technology has the potential to and hopefully will save lives.

The Award was established in 2013 to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway in the areas of environment, marine and energy.  The annual competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, assesses business ideas arising from research. This award is to enable the winner to commercialise, or develop their idea through further research at home or abroad.

The nature of the technologies from the four finalists included:

  • A marine inspired cancer therapeutic presented by Dr Margaret Rae from the Ryan Institute.
  • A multi-application improved sensing system in the monitoring of wastewater pollution presented by Peter Ó Conghaile of the School of Chemistry and Ryan Institute.
  • A new customised, meteorological, forecasting technology with high-level accuracy opportunities presented by Enda O’Brien and Sufian Al Aswad from the Ireland High-Performance Computing Centre (ICHEC).
  • A study involving the regenerative abilities of a marine invertebrate, with the hope of applying the knowledge to human research presented by Professor Uri Frank of REMEDI.

The team of judges included Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President; Michael McNicholas from Ervia (formally Bord Gáis Eireann); Barry Egan, West Regional Director of Enterprise Ireland; and JP Prendergast of Biopharmed-West, an energy related start up.


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