RCSI, UCC and DCU win big at the 2021 KTI Impact Awards

The awards celebrate institutes of higher education that support innovation in the commercial space through research.

The winners of this year’s Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) Impact Awards have been announced, including innovative projects and businesses associated with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI), University College Cork (UCC) and Dublin City University (DCU) .

Each year the KTI Impact Awards recognize innovation offices in Ireland’s institutes of higher education for their role in helping to make business impact from academic research. This is the sixth edition of the awards, with short list revealed By the end of September.

Winners were announced in three categories for success in different fields: Marketing Impact, Industry Engagement, and a new category introduced in 202, ‘Future Forward’, which seeks to recognize early-stage activities with a potential impact on the future.

RSCI and Locate Bio were winners in the marketing impact category for the success of the spin-out in the field of orthobiology: biological substances that help musculoskeletal injuries heal faster. RCSI licensed three bone and cartilage regeneration technologies to Locate Bio last year.

The technologies have received innovative device designation from the FDA that will assist Locate Bio in the regulatory process. KTI said the judges were particularly impressed by the support provided by RCSI’s innovation office to transfer the intellectual property to Locate Bio.

The award for industry participation was the Irish Photonic Integration Center (IPIC), based at UCC, and Rockley photonics, for a research partnership that has benefited both parties and created jobs in the industry. More than 3.4 million euros have been invested in this association.

Since 2017, IPIC’s collaboration with Rockley has been fruitful, with the establishment of Rockley Photonics Ireland in Cork last year, which grew to employ 10 people this year. The company uses applications and data chips for use in healthcare, machines and wearable devices.

The new ‘Future Forward’ award was given to DCU and Inclusio, a recent spin-out founded in December 2020 that focuses on transforming workplace culture through an artificial intelligence engine that enables companies to adopt a data-driven approach to culture and diversity.

Inclusio’s artificial intelligence engine powers short, personalized learning and engagement that help employees contribute to the culture of the workplace, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The judges viewed its business prospects as promising based on strong funding levels and customer base.

“These awards are an excellent opportunity to show what can be achieved when industry and our higher education institutions come together to solve problems and improve outcomes for people,” said Tánaiste and the Minister of Business, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD.

“The data shows that companies that collaborate with our universities have twice the turnover than those that do not, so there are some real opportunities.”

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