Research & Innovation

UCC student’s ‘smart needle’ beats seaweed treatment to TIDA award

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UCC student’s ‘smart needle’ beats seaweed treatment to TIDA award

UCC student’s ‘smart needle’ beats seaweed treatment to TIDA award
October 07
11:00 2015

Lisa Helen, PhD Researcher from Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork took the top prize at the Science Foundation Ireland Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) Pitch Off last night at the Science Gallery, which took place as part of the Startup Gathering (5th – 10th October). The event, which was held in conjunction with the DCU Ryan Academy, showcased some of the talented people and innovative ideas being funded by Science Foundation Ireland across the Irish Higher Education Institutes. Lisa won first prize for her pitch on her work on a ‘smart needle to determine needle to nerve proximity’. Using sensors, the device detects when the needle is close to or has hit a nerve, thereby reducing the likelihood of injecting into the nerve, which can cause serious, temporary or permanent nerve injury.

The TIDA programme is run by Science Foundation Ireland in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and aims to realise greater economic impact from state investments in research. The pitch off competition involved eight TIDA funded researchers pitching their technology or commercialisation ideas for further development support from Science Foundation Ireland.

Dr. Sharee Basdeo from Trinity College Dublin was the runner up with her pitch on ‘Irish seaweed for transplant tolerance’ which looks at using Irish seaweed as a natural, non-toxic treatment for patients who have received an organ transplant.

Presenting the winners with the Awards last night, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English T.D. said: “The commercialisation of innovative products can be one of the most challenging aspects to the research and development process, but is essential for creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery. Stimulating an entrepreneurial culture in the Irish research community is a vital process and the SFI TIDA programme supports this goal. The eight pitches we saw this evening are a testament to the incredible ideas and research work that is being done in Ireland at the moment and I wish all of you continued success. I would especially like to congratulate the winner, Lisa Helen, on her pitch on the smart needle she and her team at Tyndall are developing.”

The Startup Gathering 2015 will see close to 400 events promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and Ireland’s start-up sector taking place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

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