Wednesday, 25 March 2015: Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and University College Dublin (UCD) between them picked up all four Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) Impact Awards earlier today.
WIT won two awards, which were presented by Damien English, T.D., Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation at a ceremony in Dublin.
Dr Felicity Kelliher, co-chair of the RIKON group and senior lecturer in management at the School of Business at WIT, was presented with the Research2Business Collaborative Impact Award for her engagement with hundreds of SMEs – in particular with the tourism sector, Ireland’s second largest service industry – enabling them to adopt best practice, improve their business and integrate research findings into developing their staff and companies.
Dr Ramesh Raghavendra won the Consultancy Impact Award for his work as the Manager of the South Eastern Applied Materials (SEAM) Research Centre at WIT. Under Dr Raghavendra’s direction, SEAM has carried out more than 800 directly funded industry projects within 5 years of its launch in 2009.
Congratulating the winners Minister English said “the KTI Impact Awards celebrate the significant impact of commercially valuable knowledge transferred from the research system into Irish industry. It is important to recognise the successful impact achieved by industry in Ireland through the acquisition of new technologies and intellectual property or by getting expert advice from State-funded researchers and the Universities, Institutes of Technology and research institutes where they work”.
Dr Alison Campbell, Director of KTI congratulated Professor Willie Donnelly, Vice President for Research and Innovation at WIT and Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact who also received awards in recognition of their support and promotion of knowledge transfer at WIT and UCD respectively.
Speaking about the importance of the awards, Professor Donnelly said, “These awards validate WIT’s long-held strategy of creating economic impact through research and innovation. We can see that the quality of our research is comparable to any third level college in Ireland but more importantly, our research is delivering for our region.
“With job creation running at 7 per cent, Waterford and Wexford are outperforming the national average of 4 per cent and this is due in no small part to the Institute’s ability to attract major multinationals companies like WestPharma to the region as well as creating jobs in its own right – FeedHenry being a recent example.”
A third WIT research success story, FeedHenry, was shortlisted for a Spin-Out Company Impact Award. The company is a spin-out of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) and was acquired by the major multinational Red Hat Inc, for €63.5m in September 2014 making it the first ICT multinational of its kind to move into the region and one of the largest spin out acquisitions in higher education.
UCD and its technology transfer office, NovaUCD, took both the Licence2Market Impact Award and the Spin-out Company Impact Award for the UCD spin-out OxyMem.