UL’s Technology Transfer Office hosted the seventh edition of the UL Innovation Awards last week to celebrate commercialisation activity on campus. This year’s event, which ran as a virtual event, recognised UL inventors named on patents that were granted during 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office or by the European Patent Office.
54 framed granted patents were presented to 27 UL inventors that cover 20 unique inventions across a range of technologies. The framed patents, presented by UL President Prof. Kerstin Mey and Knowledge Transfer Ireland Director Alison Campbell, recognised the achievements of current UL researchers in bringing their new and unique technology from the lab to a fully granted patent.
Also presented on the day was the 2021 Innovation Award, which recognises a UL research team whose research delivered outstanding impact through successful knowledge transfer to industry. This year’s award was presented to the SoloPep research team to celebrate their achievement in turning a technology from an initial concept, to a product, spinning out a company and being acquired by another Irish company and doing so in a relatively short timescale.
The SoloPep technology had its origins through multidisciplinary collaboration involving a collaboration between UL’s Product Design group working in collaboration with UL’s School of Medicine. Together they developed the technology bringing it from a concept to a product. The technology was patented and spun out into a new company, which has developed a break-through disposable airway clearance system for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis (CF). The company has since been acquired by an Irish Company in the respiratory care field.
The SoloPep patent was filed in December 2015 with the company acquired in 2020. The SoloPep team also won the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas, ‘One to Watch’ Award.