It’s been a strong year for innovation as startup companies coming out of NUI Galway secured €35 million in investment in 2018.
The 36 startup companies based out of the Business Innovation Centre at NUIG now employ 173 people, up by 20% on last year.
This year also saw the university sign 60 project agreements with Irish SME’s and multinationals.
These agreements cover a wide range of industries including dvanced healthcare diagnostics and devices, additive manufacturing, food nutrition, and energy optimisation.
Over 2,200 students and staff at NUI Galway were involved in learning and mentorship programmes projects this year on everything from storybook publishing to helping people with a disability find the closest parking space.
David Murphy, Director of NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre, sad, “We have a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem among our students and staff which we support through a range of commercialisation, experiential learning, and support programmes.”
“There are significant benefits to society and the economy from the innovations that are seeded, researched, developed and implemented right here on campus.”
“The number of start-ups and industry collaborations based on high-quality research is a very good indication of the level of entrepreneurism at the University and in the region.”
Supporting startup industry
The recently announced Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund saw NUI Galway take part in eight projects.
Five startups at the university were supported, AuriGen Medical, Neurent Medical, Onkimmune, Atrian Medical, and Signum Surgical.
Between them they secured €16 million in funding from the DTIF.
Three of those came through the BioInnovate programme at NUI Galway which looks for new ways to tackle unmet medical needs.
The EXPLORE programme is where staff and students collaborate on innovative ideas. In 2018 it supported 15 new projects, involving 61 staff and 42 students.
Current projects focus on a variety of topics including Frankenstein, bat boxes, modernist studies and ‘fake news’ surrounding cancer and its risk factors.
Jacinta Thornton, Associate Director of NUIG’s Innovation Office, said, “Our University puts a strong focus on knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship, and enterprise collaboration to maximise the impact of our research and our expertise for the region.”