Galway students explore the future at Innovation Awards

Galway Daily Galway students and staff honoured for their innovation at new awards

Students and staff at NUI Galway showed their potentially life-altering ideas at the inaugural Explore Innovation Awards this week.

Creating life-like skin, helping disabled drivers and introducing philosophy to children were among winning concepts from the six students and staff named at the awards.

From among NUIG‘s student body,

  • 1st Prize went to Bronwyn Reid McDermott, a Masters student in the College Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences for her idea of ‘Sutereself’, a simulated skin for surgical trainees.
  • 2nd Prize went to Eoghan Dunne, Eviasmar Almeida and Guilherme Vaz de Melo Trindade, PhD students in the Translational Medical Device Labs for their project ‘I can see you now’ which seeks to use advanced imaging technology help diagnose prostate cancer.
  • 3rd Prize went to idan Breen, a PhD student in the College of Engineering and Informatics whose social innovation ‘Blue Spots Parking’ aims to help disabled drivers locate accessible parking spots in Ireland. This project is already on its way and will launch by the end of the year.

A further three awards were handed out to members of staff for their own creations and projects that can benefit society.

  • 1st Prize went to Dr Orla Richardson from the Philosophy Discipline at NUI Galway for ‘P4C’, a project to help schools and community groups think and philosophise together.
  • 2nd Prize went to Dr Peadar Rooney, a researcher with CÚRAM, Dr Diana Gaspar of REMODEL, and Joshua Chao of REMEDI for ‘Three Bling Mice’, creating podcasts communicating scientific ideas to a non-scientific audience.
  • 3rd Prize went to Dr Ed Osagie from Insight whose project ‘CDN’ aims to utilise crowd discounts with network effect models.

Speaking at the prizegiving, David Murphy Director of Innovation at NUIG, said:

“The depth and breadth of proposals in these our inaugural Explore Innovation awards shows the diversity and creativity that we have across our campus.

“These awards give both students and staff the opportunity to flourish and develop their innovative ideas in a supportive, enabling and results driven environment.”

The Explore Innovation Awards were created to uncover ideas that have great potential to become a business or social enterprise.

Over 30 applicants to the competition were considered before the final six were chosen to receive a prize.

Each winning project will receive €10,000 in backing to help bring it from an idea through to a marketable creation.

Since 2012, the EXPLORE programme has fostered over 100 collaborative projects since it began in 2012.

“Many of the outputs of NUI Galway’s extensive research portfolio are licensed to industry or leads to a new spin-out company,” said Mr Murphy.

“Our Business Innovation Centre and the wider campus is currently home to over 40 companies, where we provide business supports and excellent facilities including labs and co-working spaces to start-ups.”

“This all feeds into and connects with the wider region, supporting innovation and enterprises here in the west of Ireland.”