Monday 04 February 2019

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced €4.5 million in funding for 38 research projects to support the commercialisation of government-funded research.

The funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, which has been running since 2009. The programme provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities associated with their research.

John was awarded €124,712 which he will use to support the development of a computer-based system that continuously monitors the brain health of preterm infants in intensive care. Worldwide, over 2 million infants born prematurely are at an increased risk (1 in 3) of brain injury. This injury can be fatal or can result in a lifetime of disability. Knowing which infants are at risk ensures that that the right infants get the right medical care at the right time. John and his research group will pursue commercial pathways to transition this technology from academia to industry in order to safeguard the brains of this vulnerable population.

Pictured: Dr John O Toole

Researchers funded through the TIDA programme will also participate in the new SFI Spark Pre-Accelerator, which is an intensive five-day programme delivered by the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs. This will support STEM researchers to develop skills in areas such as evidence-based entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking and facilitates mentoring and networking.

Prof Geraldine Boylan, Director of INFANT, said “I offer my congratulations to John – INFANT is delighted to support this worthy research project. Awards like the TIDA programme allow us to continue to create ground-breaking discoveries and translate them into innovative tests, treatments and solutions that will positively impact mothers, newborn and children’s health outcomes internationally”.