€3.5 million investment in research commercialisation announced by Ministers Humphreys and Halligan

Posted on: 21 November 2018

Trinity researchers are recipients of funding announced in October by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD.  51 research positions are being supported across universities such as Trinity, UCD, NUIG and UCC.

The funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme. The programme supports researchers undertaking applied research across a range of disciplines in STEM subjects which demonstrate strong potential for economic impact.

The programme aims to demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative idea for further commercial exploitation, as well as providing project funding and training in innovation and entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said,

Science Foundation Ireland is committed to investing in the translation of world-class research from the laboratory to market. The SFI TIDA programme aims to increase the number and quality of discoveries with strong economic impact potential that secure follow-on public or private investment. It supports the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in Ireland, which will lead to new innovative products and disruptive solutions to global research challenges.

Research highlights from Trinity include:

Prof Igor Shvets, Sensing the composition of a multi-component fluid flowing in a pipe for non-contact real-time analysis.

A wide variety of industries rely on fluids flowing through pipes. It is relatively straightforward to measure the amount of fluid passing through the pipe, however determining the makeup of that fluid is difficult. This project proposes a technology that can be placed on the pipeline to constantly monitor the composition of the fluid within. This technology has many potential applications including the detection of water content in crude oil, or fat content in cream.

Prof Helen Sheridan, Validation of the therapeutic potential of two lead anti-inflammatory molecules with a novel carbon scaffold in ex-vivo colonic explant tissue.

An urgent need exists for novel drugs to target inflammatory disorders and cancers with unmet clinical need. Small molecules that act by inhibiting the release of undesirable chemical mediators from inflamed or precancerous tissue (e.g. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a regulator of both acute and chronic inflammation), are potential new therapeutics for clinical use. This research has discovered a novel class of molecule displaying biological activities, that demonstrate exciting and significant inhibition of chemical mediator release. Results support further evaluation of these molecules in human tissue to validate their potential development as inflammatory or anticancer therapies.

For all research highlights see full SFI post.

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Katie Byrne, Senior Executive Officer | katie.s.byrne@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 4168