Awards

LEAP Award July 2012

Leap_Winner

Photo: Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO Votechnik, Mr.Frank Walsh, Enterprise Equity, Dr. Maria G. Hinfelaar, President LIT

Votechnik claimed first prize in Limerick Institute of Technology’s (LIT) LEAP Business Awards for 2011/2012. With an equity investment from AIB Seed Capital, which is managed by Enterprise Equity, to the tune of €50,000. Votechnik also received a cheque from LIT of €5,000, plus €25,000 worth of consultancy/supports and legal advice from one of Ireland’s best known firms Holmes O’Malley Sexton, mentoring from the Discovery Partnership and free membership of Limerick Chamber. In addition Votechnik received an award for best Intellectual Property, sponsored by the HDS Partnership.

Votechnik technology is driven by international regulatory directives on the mandatory removal of hazardous materials from LCD screens. Materials contained within LCD screens hold significant financial value and recycling organisations actively tender for the opportunity to recycle screens. Votechnik’s technology will be capable of recycling up to 80 units per hour, compared to the current manual rate of three to four units per hour by recycling companies.

Speaking after the announcement of the awards, founder and CEO of Votechnik Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, said: “I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed mentoring and support on a range of areas of the business, including developing a business plan ready for market, through the LEAP programme over the past 12 months. But this award is a huge boost for my company and at a critical time. Securing funding is extremely difficult in the current environment for start-ups, but the package available now, including the equity offer from AIB Seed Capital Fund, gives the business great security at what is a really exciting and a very important stage of its development.”

Frank Walsh, a partner in Enterprise Equity, which jointly manages the AIB Seed Capital Fund said: “AIB Seed Capital recognises the huge contribution which entrepreneurship has to play in the economic recovery, and incubation programmes, such as LIT’s LEAP programme, play an important part stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship,” “Votechnik led by Dr Lisa O’ Donoghue is an extremely worthy winner for its technological innovation and leadership and we look forward to working with them in the future,”

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UL Top Inventors Recieve Innovation Award

27 Feb 2012
The achievements of leading spin-out companies; Votechnik and Poly-Pico Technologies Ltd together with UL’s partnership with medical devices company, Aerogen were recently recognised at the UL Innovation Awards. The event was attended by researchers, entrepreneurs, industry representatives and innovators in the region.

UL’s Vice President Research, Dr Mary Shire said; “These awards highlight the impact UL research can, and is making on economic growth. The partnership between UL and Aerogen is a perfect example of academic expertise and industrial skill combining to make significant step-changes for the medical devices industry. The success stories of spin-out companies like Votechnik and Poly-Pico are testament to the real impact translational research has for the Irish economy.”

The Irish Granted Patent was formally presented to the invention team behind the core technology used by UL spin-out Votechnik. Votechnik supplies a specialised recycling technology for LCD displays which removes the hazardous materials from waste displays in a fast, efficient and automated process. The technology is currently unchallenged in the market and provides a unique solution for the problem of LCD recycling for European and worldwide markets. Votechnik received support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Poly-Pico and Votechnik were formally recognised as 2011 UL Spin-Out companies. Poly-Pico is commercialising technology that generates micro, nano and pico litre volumes of biomaterial. It allows users to reliably dispense fluids down to 100 pico litre resolution (10 -12). To put this into context, it would allow a standard pint of fluid to be dispensed in nearly 500 billion individual equal sized amounts. Poly-pico Technologies Ltd received support from Enterprise Ireland.

And the overall, 2011 Innovation Award was presented to the Aerogen Innovation Partnership project team. UL research in conjunction with researchers at Galway-based company, Aerogen have developed a significant technological enhancement to aspects of the vibrating core technology for use in Aerogen’s acute care aerosol drug delivery nebulisers. This innovative technology is used in the core of Aerogen’s products which enables high performance aerosol drug to be delivered into the lungs of critically ill patients in Intensive Care.

Developed by UL researchers, Dr Mark Southern, Professor Michael Pomeroy, MSSI,  Daniela Butan and Dr Seamus Clifford, in conjunction with Aerogen the unique technology has enabled Aerogen to scale the production of its core technology, ensuring a predictable and reliable production process.

By working in conjunction with Dr Southern and the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), Aerogen successfully validated a scalable production process which enabled them to increase their manufacturing from 100,000 units to 3,000,000 units per year, thus opening up opportunities for the company to move beyond manufacturing and into the more lucrative market of drug delivery device combination products.

Aerogen’s unique and innovative technology which has cost €40 million to develop over a period of 10 years and is protected by 30 patents is recognised as the ‘gold standard’ in acute care nebulisation in 65 countries worldwide. This research was part-funded through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership scheme.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Paul Dillon, Director, Technology Transfer Officer, UL said; “UL has continued to out-perform international benchmarks for delivery of inventions per euro investment. Our focus on commercialisation has yielded 6 promising spin-off companies in recent years involving a combined investment in excess of €60m and providing high-value jobs. It is vital that we generate and protect invention and industrially relevant research findings which will drive future growth.”

For further information about Technology Transfer and Research at UL go to www.ul.ie/research

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Best High Growth Company InterTrade Ireland 2011-2012

Award_Seedcorn

Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO Votechnik, Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, Peter Lyons, CMO Votechnik

Votechnik was named the Best High Growth Company at InterTradeIreland’s annual All-island Seedcorn Business Competition. The event, which took place at the Burlington in Dublin on Wednesday night, is the largest business competition on the island. As the Best High Growth Company on the island, Votechnik has won the overall prize of €100,000.

Votechnik, a University of Limerick spin out company which is based between the University of Limerick and the Hartnett Acceleration Centre in Limerick, supplies a specialised recycling technology for LCD displays which removes the hazardous materials from waste displays in a fast, efficient and automated process. The technology is currently unchallenged in the market and provides a unique solution for the problem of LCD recycling for European and worldwide markets. The technology has emerged from Environmental Protection Agency funded research under the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) programme.

Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD said “The innovative thinking we see from early business start ups is key to future economic growth in Ireland.  The companies involved with the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition receive excellent advice from some of the top business minds around the island, including entrepreneurs who have already been through the early stages of business.  I commend all those who have been involved at the various stages of the competition and for providing this invaluable guidance.  Votechnik beat very tough competition so I congratulate them on their great success.  I hope the experience and rewards they receive from the competition stand to them for a long time to come.”

Liam Nellis, CEO for InterTradeIreland added:  “Once again, the quality of the business plans we received is a testament to the level of innovation and entrepreneurial excellence on the island.  The Seedcorn competition is now in its ninth year and has grown to become the biggest business competition on the island, covering all regions. Previous winners have to date leveraged over €140m in new equity funding since their success in the competition – we have great hopes for our 2011 winners and are proud to support them at this critical stage of their development.”

Lisa-Seedcorn

Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO, Votechnik

Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO, Votechnik said:  “We are delighted to win such a prestigious competition as Seedcorn. We have found our involvement in Seedcorn and with InterTradeIreland to be a hugely rewarding and beneficial experience. It has improved and refined our business proposition through the vigorous judging process. We have also made contacts on both sides of the border during this competition that would have been difficult to make otherwise. It certainly proves that the idea behind InterTradeIreland is alive and well. We look forward to maintaining a close relationship with InterTradeIreland as we continue to grow and expand our business on a global market which the Seedcorn competition is helping us to achieve.”

InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition aims to recognise and promote the best early stage companies across the island. Companies are selected following an intense competition designed to mirror a real life investment process.

In addition, companies can also look forward to the benefits of being part of the Seedcorn network – an extensive business and investment community that will help to boost their profile, contacts and create future potential investment opportunities.

Now in its ninth year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000.

Business plans are initially assessed by a panel of independent entrepreneurs, investors and experts and companies are subjected to a rigorous interview before judges in competing for the Best Emerging and Best High Growth Company titles on a regional basis in Connacht & Leinster, Munster, Dublin and Northern Ireland with the winners in each region securing an initial €20,000 share of the prize fund for their company.

Previous finalists of the competition have gone on to secure more than €140 million worth of equity since taking part.  Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn.

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Regional Winner Seedcorn Business Competition

Seedcorn

Limerick company, Votechnik, was named the Best High Growth Company in the Munster final of the 2011 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn all-island business competition. Votechnik beat tough competition from two other Munster finalists to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of its ventures. The company will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place in Dublin on 30th November.

Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000.

Votechnik, a University of Limerick spin out company supplies a specialised recycling technology for LCD displays which removes the hazardous materials from waste displays in a fast, efficient and automated process. The technology is currently unchallenged in the market and provides a unique solution for the problem of LCD recycling for European and Worldwide markets. The technology has emerged from EPA funded research under the STRIVE programme.

Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO, Votechnik said; “We are thrilled to have won the Munster final.  This has been a very exciting and beneficial competition for us to be involved in.  Seedcorn has given us the opportunity to test our business plan and to view it as an ever evolving plan that reflects the direction and needs of the company.  We have also been given the opportunity to discuss our strategy with experts and experienced business people and entrepreneurs, which is invaluable in expanding our view and the potential of our company.

Liam Nellis, Chief Executive, InterTradeIreland added; “The calibre of the finalist companies in the Munster final was second to none.  The wealth of innovative thinking and creativity across the island of Ireland is extremely promising and we are delighted to be able to work with some of the best up-and-coming businesses in the crucial early stages.  Congratulations to Votechnik for its worthy win.  This is a company that is making innovative advancements in the recycling space.”

Votechnik will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Connacht & Leinster finals for the title of overall Best High Growth Company.

In addition, companies can also look forward to the benefits of being part of the Seedcorn network – an extensive business and investment community that will help to boost their profile, contacts and create future potential investment opportunities.

The all-island finals will take place in Dublin on 30th November, where companies are in with a chance to compete for the overall Best Emerging Company prize worth €50,000 or the overall Best High Growth Company prize worth €100,000.

InterTradeIreland’s All-island Seedcorn Business competition, now in its ninth year, is the largest business competition on the island.

Previous finalists of the competition have gone on to secure more than €140 million worth of equity since taking part.  Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn.

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Outstanding Young Person of the Year 2011

JCI

The JCI Ireland Award Ceremony took place in the wonderful surroundings of the Grain Store, Ballymaloe House, Cork on Saturday 11th June 2011. The Outstanding Young Person of the Year (TOYP) is one of the most important programmes in the Junior Chamber International (JCI) calendar. The Awards were sponsored by Deloitte and honour outstanding young people who have excelled in their chosen field of expertise, endeavors and commitment to their communities. JCI encourages them to seek further advancement in personal achievements as well as public service.

Siobhán Duggan, Programme Organiser, said: “All too often we are blind-sided by bad news and sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond it. But we must always remember that for every negative there is a positive and that is what this awards programme is all about. For a small country, we have a wealth of talent to be proud of.”

CEO Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue received the JCI Ireland TOYP Award this year in Science and Technology in June 2011 for her frontier research in recycling technology.

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Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010

Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, CEO of Votechnik was awarded the title of Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 at an awards ceremony held in Killarney in early 2010. The award came to life from the culmination of six months working on the Young Entrepreneur Programme. Lisa won the award for her business proposition to recycling LCDs through an automated process. Currently no market ready device exists to address the millions of LCD screens reaching their End of Life each year. The University of Limerick research fellow’s design allows LCD flat panel screens to be safely disposed of into valuable computer waste.

She was one of more than 120 entrepreneurs who took part in the Young Entrepreneur Programme in 2010. This particular year it was a joint initiative between IT, Tralee, Shannon Development and entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly.

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Frederick A Krehbiel II Innovation Medal

Kriebel

The Molex Frederick A Krehbiel II Medal Award Ceremony was held at the University of Limerick on Thursday, 26th August 2010. The individual selected on this occasion as the Frederick A Krehbiel II medal recipient was a very worthy recipient, Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, a native of Limerick and a 2006 Ph.D. graduate from the University of Limerick. Lisa was awarded the medal for her research on an innovative technology for recycling LCD displays, a very important topic in today’s current climate. For 2009, the predicted global sales for LCD displays was $64 billion (146 million units). It is clear from this that there is an increasing LCD waste stream on the horizon. In Europe, waste LCD displays are subject to the WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC), which requires the reuse, recycling or recovery of waste electronic and electrical equipment. The treatment of the waste must ensure that all hazardous materials are properly contained and diverted from landfill. Currently, no automated technology exists for recycling waste LCD screens.

Older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs, which currently dominate the disposal market, can be recycled using commercially available automated recycling systems. CRT TVs are expected to peak within the next 5-10 years after which LCD TVs will become the main type of TV entering the waste stream. Currently waste LCDs are either being stockpiled at recycling facilities to be dealt at some future date or are being manually disassembled. Manual disassembly is both costly and time inefficient. As there is no optimized recycling process for LCDs currently available a significant future problem exists. It is essential that an effective recycling capability for LCD TVs is in place soon before they begin to dominate the disposal market. Lisa’s research at the University of Limerick into LCD recycling has the aim to meet this technology gap. Lisa also won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Award for her work in this area.

Invitees at the ceremony included a number of eminent figures from Molex, including John O’Brien VP European Operations Molex Integrated Products Division and Michael Power, Group Product Manager Industrial Business Unit.

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Nominee for “Excellence in Engineering Award”

Engineers_Journal_Header

The Engineers Journal
The technology was nominated for the Excellence in Engineering Award 2010. The Excellence Award showcases the best of Irish engineering and engineers. Engineers Ireland wish to reflect the scale and diversity of the great work that’s being done day in and day out by professional engineers the length and breadth of Ireland.

Reality for engineers – the challenge of recycling LCDs

Publication heading:

“A young Irish engineer/entrepreneur is developing an innovative solution for the recycling challenges facing makers of LCD televisions. The Journal spoke to Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, the Principle Investigator on the research team driving this project at the University of Limerick (UL) and the winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2010″