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Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering spin-out company wins two awards

AERIAQ Filtration Ltd., a company which has developed new, energy efficient, air-filtration technology, receives Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Award and TCD Campus Company Award.

14 December 2011

The inventors of a new, energy efficient, air-filtration technology received an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Award in Dublin recently.  The recipients, Assistant Professor Aonghus McNabola, Associate Professor Laurence Gill and Dr. Niall O’Luanaigh of Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering, were presented with the award for successfully bringing this novel technology to the marketplace.  They did this through the formation of a new company called AERIAQ Filtration Ltd which has licensed the technology.  

The company plans to manufacture and market the product in Ireland, focusing on office buildings. Initial export markets are the UK and Saudi Arabia.  Following office buildings, the company will seek to target more sophisticated ventilation systems such as cleanrooms, and eventually cars.

The technology is the brainchild of Assistant Professor Aonghus McNabola from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, who came up with the idea while sampling air for pollution studies. He and colleague Associate Professor Laurence Gill have been developing the prototype and the company was recently formed to commercialise the intellectual property.

Presenting the award, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland, Feargal Ó Móráin said: “The efforts of the team behind this technology and the resulting spin-out company are highly commendable.  AERIAQ Ltd is the latest of over 100 spin-out companies to be created since 2007 when Enterprise Ireland began working in partnership with Higher Education Institutes, including Trinity College Dublin, in a concerted effort to create new companies from publicly-funded research.”

In addition AERIAQ Ltd was also presented with a TCD Campus Company Award from the Provost, Professor Patrick Prendergast and the Director of Trinity Research and Innovation Dr. James Callaghan.

Breathing clean air in modern buildings and vehicles is something we often take for granted.  If outdoor pollution started getting in we would soon notice.  But that cleanliness can come at a cost: conventional filtration systems often rely on electricity-consuming fans and use filters which need to be cleaned or changed. This technology takes a cleaner, greener approach. Rather than using motorised parts or filters, the passive air cleaning system AERIAQ uses its design to expel particulate matter and so it reduces costs and reliance on energy.

On receiving the award Assistant Professor Aonghus McNabola thanked Enterprise Ireland for funding the research through their Commercial Fund programme and for the support given to commercialise the technology through the help of EI’s Commercialisation Executive and Trinity’s Technology Transfer Office.

AERIAQ was designed to manipulate the fluid physics of air going through it and to reroute particles back outside while allowing the clean air through. Trials indicate a three-year payback on the device.

A further Irish Times article on AERIAQ can be found here.


AERIAQ Award 1

L/R: Dr. Graham McMullin, TCD Technology Transfer Office; Assistant Professor Aonghus McNabola, School of Engineering; Ms. Elmarie van Breda AERIAQ Ltd CEO; Associate Professor Laurence Gill, School of Engineering; Mr. Gerard Fenner, Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Manager



AERIAQ Award 2

L/R: Dr. James Callaghan, Director of Trinity Research & Innovation; Assistant Professor Aonghus McNabola, School of Engineering; Associate Professor Laurence Gill, School of Engineering; Professor Patrick Prendergast, Provost.

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