IONA Founder Chris Horn Receives Trinity College Dublin Innovation Award

Posted on: 02 October 2006

IONA Technologies’ Dr Chris Horn, was presented with the Trinity College Innovation Award by the  TCD  Provost,  Dr John Hegarty,  at an Entrepreneurship Seminar in Trinity College on September 29 last.  The IONA Technologies’ founding member and vice-chairman, was cited for leading a company with innovative products and for creating an innovative environment that saw more than 20 companies spin out of IONA during the past 15 years.

IONA Technologies was founded in the IDA-backed TCD Innovation Centre, by three former TCD lecturers from the Department of Computer Science. Following its incubation period, the team gained an investment from the Californian-based Sun Microsystems, and the company was later launched on the NASDAQ exchange in New York.

IONA Technologies represents an indigenous company success in international markets and proved the concept of moving from research, which was EU-funded, through to early-stage incubation on campus, to fully-fledged internationally competitive products.

Dr Horn has been well-known for his support for Irish economic and social development in several spheres, including manpower planning.  Dr Horn has been involved in developing links with China and he is also chairman of UNICEF in Ireland.

“Building a global company from scratch was both exhilarating and exhausting,” said Dr Horn.  “While the benefits have been personally rewarding to the team to me, as well as to the State through IDA investment and TCD support, I suspect that the greater impact has been to encourage other young technology entrepreneurs.   I believe our economy will increasingly depend on the capability of young researchers in Ireland to bring their innovations to the global market.”

Last year’s recipient of the Trinity College Innovation Award, Professor Igor Chvets, an Irish citizen of Ukrainian background who has founded two campus companies, was there to congratulate Dr Horn.  The ceremony in TCD was preceded by lectures on the development of entrepreneurship within Trinity College and Ireland given by Professor John A. Murray of the TCD School of Business and  Professor John Boland, Director of the CRANN SFI-funded nanotechnology initiative as well as by Professor Steve Nichols of the University of Texas and Dr Horn.