L-R Dr. Mary Shire, Vice President Research, UL; Dr. Ioannis Manolakis, Dr. Walter Stanley, Dr. Ananda Roy UL / IComp, Dr. Vincent Cooper, EJ, Prof. Des Fitzgerald, President, UL
UL celebrates commercialisation success at Innovation Awards
Levels of venture funding for UL campus company at an all-time high with six UL spinouts raising an excess of €2.6 million
The University of Limerick recently held its biennial Innovation Awards which celebrate commercialistion activity on campus. UL inventors and their company collaborators attended an event organised by the Technology Transfer Office at which they were formally presented their granted patents.
This year’s Impact Award, which acknowledges outstanding impact through successful knowledge transfer to industry, was also presented to EJ and the Irish Composite Centre research teams in recognition of the outstanding impact of their collaboration on the joint development of an access (manhole) cover made from composite materials.
Speaking at the event Paul Dillon, Director, Technology Transfer said that “In 2017, our campus companies broke all records for seed funding. Six UL spinouts raised in excess of €2.6m in seed and venture capital. Three further funding rounds going thorough at present plus a new spinout in train. Another company underwent a trade sale and was acquired. These investments only happen where the companies have a strong business opportunity, with high levels of innovation and a strong intellectual property position i.e. Patents. These companies also continue to innovate long after they leave the University and in many cases these innovations are driven by our former students. So, our success in innovation and technology transfer is reflective of the quality and calibre of the staff and students at the University of Limerick.”
Five of the patents have been licensed to three different UL spin out companies, Poly Pico, Cala Medical and Class Medical, who are currently commercialising their technologies. An additional patent was presented which is a result of technology developed jointly with leading Irish medical device company Aerogen.
Six new campus companies were among the awardees including, ‘Vanadium Instruments’ who are bringing a new battery ‘state of charge’ technology to market and ‘Ostoform’ who have developed an improved Ostomy bag to reduce skin complications in ostomy bag users. Ostoform was the AIB start Up Academy winner in 2017 and the winner of the Enterprise Ireland ‘One to Watch’ award on 2016. Both Vanadium Instruments and Ostoform spun-out of UL in 2016. The 2017 spin-out companies recognised at the awards ceremony were ‘Cala Medical’ which is developing a technology for the treatment of sepsis and ‘Hooke Bio’ which has developed a rapid drug screening technology. Hooke Bio was the Enterprise Ireland ‘One to Watch’ winner in 2017.
Dr Mary Shire, UL Vice President Research noted that “over the last 2 years the Technology Transfer Office received a total of 77 invention disclosures each embodying unique and new technologies in a range of disciplines. 19 separate license option or agreements were signed with industry. Each agreement represented a sizable commercial interaction for both the company and University. Licensees ranged from large Multinational companies to small start-up companies looking to commercialise technologies developed by UL”