Picture: Pictured, L-R: Carol Gibbons, Director of ICT Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland; “One to Watch Award” winner Finola Cliffe of Hooke Bio; Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan T.D. and Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dr Finola Cliffe, postdoctoral researcher in University of Limerick’s Stokes Institute was recently presented with the “One to Watch Award” at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2017.

Finola was acknowledged for her work as a senior scientist at HookeBio, a start-up pharmaceutical company based in the Stokes Institute operating in the preclinical to early stages of drug discovery.

HookeBio was one of ten start-up companies from higher education institutes to pitch new technology to investors at the annual Big Ideas event.
Each company had less than five minutes to promote their innovations and business propositions to an invited audience from the Irish research and business communities.

HookeBio believes their pharmaceutical technology will transform ‘new drug discovery’ by allowing for rapid and cost-effective drug screening. The company's founder, Professor Mark Davies, was cofounder of Stokes Bio which sold to Life Technologies in 2010 for $44 million.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Our annual Big Ideas event is a key set piece for us in driving the innovation agenda and this year’s event reflects the fantastic innovative work that is being done in our academic institutions. I would like to congratulate Finola Cliffe from HookeBio on winning the “One to Watch Award” and we look forward to working with the company to take their idea from bench to boardroom.”

Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD said: “Ireland is home to one of the most vibrant and collaborative commercialisation ecosystems in the world with the global ambition of the Irish Research, Development and Innovation sector being supported by Innovation 2020, Ireland’s strategy for research and development.

"The Big Ideas showcase event is about the commercialisation of the incredible academic research emerging from our higher education system. This is an event where smart people, smart ideas and smart money meet to create innovation and value, driving the future prosperity of the Irish economy on a global scale.”