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KBS graduate wins Irish Times ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ 2016


Barry Lunn, a KBS Masters in International Entrepreneurship Management graduate (2008), is co-founder and CEO of Arralis, which was recently awarded the Irish Times ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ 2016.

Arralis has designed a very high frequency radar chip set - Arralis 94GHz - which has a wide range of potential applications. These include aiding unmanned landings by spacecraft, air defence systems, drone guidance systems, airport radar, driverless cars as well as internet and next generation 5G telecommunications.

The company, which is based in the University of Limerick took first place in the ‘IT & Telecommunications’ category and went on to compete against six other category winners to claim the top award.

The key to the capabilities of the Arralis 94GHz chipset is its high frequency band. Arralis chief executive Barry Lunn explained: “This chipset is particularly well suited to space travel but it also has some very useful terrestrial applications. We are bringing it to a commercial scale. It can be used in commercial helicopters, drones and ultimately in autonomous or self-driving cars.”

“Radar for autonomous cars is not quite there yet,” Lunn says. “In heavy rain a Google car will just pull over because of the limitations of its radar. Cars equipped with 94GHz radar will be able to drive through rain or fog or snow without difficulty. People are always looking for better radar and that is what we are offering.”

As overall winner, Arralis will receive a communications and advertising package from The Irish Times worth in excess of €150,000, along with a UCD Smurfit Business School scholarship for an Executive Education programme commencing in 2017.

The aim of the Awards, which are now in their seventh year, is to showcase and reward excellence in innovation across a range of products and services. Over 300 companies registered for the Awards this year.

The awards ceremony, held in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, was attended by over 220 people, including the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Huge congrats to Barry and the Arralis team on their fantatsic achievement!