15 Highlights from 2022

Dec 22 2021 Posted: 10:01 GMT

As 2022 drew to a close we recapped highlights from the year (and we could have done many more).

  1.  Three new companies have spun out of University of Galway this year, Elevre Medical, Luminate Medical and Relevium Medical (YC S22) are now official university spin-outs. In the last three years, 12 companies have been spun out of the university and we currently have almost 30 companies trading read about them here.
  2. University of Galway was a partner in 7 of the 14 Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) projects announced in recent months. Industry collaboration is integral to the DTIFs and spin-outs and start-ups collaborating and leading projects inlcude Luminate Medical FeelTectAmara TherapeuticsXTremedy MedicalGlasPort Bio and InVera Medical
  3. University spin-out and Business Innovation Centre client Loci Orthopaedics secured €8m in funding and financial support from the European Commission, through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Programme. This grant and equity investment will be used to support a clinical trial on the company’s implant treatment for thumb arthritis, prior to full-scale commercialisation. EIC with its various EU commission grants also supported Aveta Medical, Sision Medical and InVera Medical this year.
  4. KTI Impact Awards recognise significant achievements in the commercialisation of publicly funded research nationwide. University of Galway was delighted to be nominated with spin-out Relevium Medical (YC S22) - who are developing a novel, disruptive, treatment for chronic pain - for the Future Forward Impact Award.  Relevium's CEO Alison Liddy, was also recognised with the Science Foundation Ireland Commercialisation Award.
  5. In November, the Innovation Office held the university's, and Ireland's, first-ever AIMday (Academic-Industry Meeting Day) on 30 November. The AIMday theme, Exploring Creative Innovations, focused on SME Creative Industries and their current challenges. AIMday is a model trademarked by Uppsala University and is used by almost 30 universities globally. Uppsala University and University of Galway are part of the ENLIGHT European University formed by nine comprehensive, research-intensive universities across Europe.
  6. Also bringing awards west was Fada Medical with Rob Wiley winning the 'Viewer's Choice' award for this pitch at Enterprise Ireland's Big Ideas 2022. The start-up is developing a novel diffusion technology to improve insulin delivery for people living with Type 1 diabetes.
  7. The second round of the University of Galway Illuminate Programme saw three new projects supported under the initiative. The Illuminate Programme is an ambitious new initiative that supports ground-breaking research in the areas of social science, arts and humanities that directly addresses the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Read about some of the ongoing projects here.
  8. Business Innovation Centre client GlasPort Bio were announced as winners of the Sustainability category in The Irish Times Innovation Awards. GlasPort Bio has developed a whole-cycle approach to Greenhouse Gas mitigation through a ruminant feed additive and manure additive.
  9. Aquila Bioscience teamed up with manufacturer Aurena Laboratories AB to develop its pathogen-capturing technology (PCT) into a sprayable format. Read more about spin-out Aquila's story here as they develop the world's first chemical-free product that captures and removes pathogens to protect against infectious diseases while preserving the environment.
  10. Culminating in May, we partnered once again with itag & itag Skillnet on Ireland’s annual tech community's Atlantec Festival which was a week-long mix of online and in-person events.
  11. To address a regional need of providing strong supports for the Life Science sector, funding was awarded to a newly formed CLG Western Innovation Life Science Hub under the Regional Enterprise Innovation Scoping Scheme 2022 supported by Enterprise Ireland. The company is a not-for-profit legal entity consisting of funding partners from University of Galway and the Western Development Commission (WDC). Its purpose is the development of a collaborative Regional Specialised Life Science Hub.
  12. This year saw the Innovation Office develop and deliver a new series of training supports for our research community, including staff and postgraduate research students. The Innovation Office Impact Series in the first half of the year was followed by the Innovation Office Impact Accelerator consisting of workshop-based activities, 1-2-1 mentoring and coaching.
  13. Luminate Medical, a University spin-out, had a busy year in hiring mode having raised more than $5m in grant financing and a seed round investment. The Business Innovation Centre client has grown its R&D team to 15 people with roles created in biomedical engineering, finite element analysis and product design. The award-winning start-up is developing medical devices that address the side effects of cancer treatment, such as hair loss.
  14. The Irish Medtech Awards are always a highlight and congrats to BioInnovate Ireland, based here at the University of Galway, for taking home the Collaboration in Medtech Award. Well done also to Galway-based CERENOVUS  for taking home Company of the Year Award.
  15. Rounding off our list was the launch of Construct Innovate on campus by An Tánaiste on 9 December. Supported by Enterprise Ireland and with a national network of partners and stakeholder members, Construct Innovate aims to modernise and advance the construction industry through growing skills and driving collaborative innovation.

Innovation Office