Eight research projects at NUI Galway have been awarded funding to commercialise their ideas, from renewable energy to treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Under European projects such as Horizon 2020, researchers across the EU have been funded to the tune of millions of euro to help turn their research proposals into fully fledged businesses.
Eight NUI Galway researchers have been awarded a total of €782,279 to commercialise their research for possible benefits to society, looking at the areas of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, to name a few. The funding has been awarded under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme run in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland.
TIDA’s aim is to get researchers to focus on the initial stages of an applied research project, and demonstrate the commercial and technical feasibility of their idea.
The eight researchers who have been awarded the funding are:
Dr Brian Ward, School of Physics: Development of an instrument to improve the characterisation of turbulence at tidal energy sites and assisting the tidal renewable energy industry in optimising turbine efficiency.
Prof James O’Gara, School of Natural Sciences: Evaluating new antimicrobials, biomaterials and therapeutic approaches for the treatment and prevention of antimicrobial resistant infections.
Dr Sara Farrona, School of Natural Sciences: The use of beneficial microorganisms to increase crop resistance and yield, using enhanced plant growth and resilience through mediated seed priming.
Prof Paul Murphy, College of Science: Designing and synthesising carbohydrate-based therapies for fibrosis.
Dr Daniel O’Toole, College of Medicine: Developing a nebulised recombinant SOD protein for acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Dr Thomas Barry, School of Natural Sciences: Culturing independent diagnostics technologies for the rapid detection of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria associated with water distribution system contamination.
Dr Andrew Flaus, School of Natural Sciences: Optimising chromatin substrates for epigenetic drug screening.
Dr Leo Quinlan, School of Medicine: Electrical stimulation cueing for freezing of gait correction in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Speaking of the funding, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said: “I am delighted to announce this investment in research commercialisation and entrepreneurship training through the SFI TIDA programme. It will enable the research teams to take the first steps in developing new discoveries and inventions with commercial potential.”