Inventors Take Centre Stage at UCC Awards

Innovations that solve key challenges in today’s society from cancer diagnostics, skin ageing, mobile battery life to neonate vaccinations were among the winners of the Bridge Network Invention of the Year 2018 awards hosted by University College Cork.

As the largest technology transfer consortium in Ireland, the Bridge Network brings together researchers and innovators from University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Teagasc and the Institute of Technology Tralee, to support the commercialisation of research. The annual Bridge Network Invention of the Year awards showcase the most innovative research and inventions in technology across agritech, life sciences, biotechnology and ICT sectors.

Speaking at the awards, UCC’s Vice President for Research and Innovation and Chair of Bridge Network Governance Committee, Prof Anita Maguire said: “The diversity of this year’s submissions demonstrates how innovators and scientists are natural problem-solvers that seek to find creative and innovative ways to improve our way of life and deliver real impact. The calibre of the innovations is notable this year again, and a number of the shortlisted inventions are patented, underpin spin-out companies or are licensed by leading global organisations. We are very proud and supportive of the achievements of the Bridge Network consortium in fostering and supporting these technologies.”

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The full list of winners were:

· UCC Life Sciences Invention of the Year: BioBind custom imaging solution awarded to the research team led by Dr. Mark Tangney, UCC (cancer diagnostics application)

· UCC ICT Invention of the Year: Battery Life Magnetics Technology won by the ‘magnetics on silicon team’ led by Prof Cian O’Mathuna of Tyndall National Institute

· Teagasc Invention of the Year: next generation vaccination solution for neonatal calves won by the team led by Dr Kieran Meade, Teagasc

· IT Tralee Invention of the Year: Dr Helena McMahon and team for their solution to address intrinsic or extrinsic skin ageing through extracellular matrix (ECM) production

· CIT ICT Invention of the Year: Dr Derry Fitzgerald, who developed ‘photoshop for audio’ which is now being used by Beach Boys, Capitol Records and others in pro-audio industry to remaster music. It is the basis for the CIT spin-out company, AudiosourceRE

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Pictured above: Winners of the Bridge Network Invention of the Year Awards, presented at UCC, are Prof Cian O’Mathuna (Tyndall) for market-leading magnetics technology to improve battery life of mobile devices; Invention of the Year Award Winner Dr Helena McMahon for her anti-skin ageing innovation called NutraECM; and Dr. Mark Tangney (UCC) for his BioBind imaging technology which can be used in cancer diagnostics among other applications