Knowledge Transfer Ireland, the Irish body that makes it simpler for businesses to boost their competitiveness through innovation with third level research, has announced the winners of their 6th annual Impact Awards.
The KTI Impact Awards celebrate the work of the Higher Education Innovation Offices around the country and their role in helping transform academic research into commercial impact.
TU Dublin and Ocumetra received the People's Choice award, an accolade bestowed upon the project by those in attendance at the virtual awards event. Ocumetra spun out of TU Dublin in June 2020 to commercialise world-leading research on myopia control and has successfully raised significant levels of investment, achieved Enterprise Ireland HPSU status and secured global clients.
Celebrating the announcement, Prof. James Loughman, co-Founder and CEO of Ocumetra, said, "The team at Ocumetra are delighted to be announced as the 2021 People's Choice Winner at the KTI Impact Awards. We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our supporters and advocates, and all who have been instrumental in our success to date. This award is important to us as it provides national recognition of the importance of our work, its value in society and the impact we strive to deliver. Our Future Forward Impact Award nomination and People's Choice Award win reflect the value of our ongoing collaboration with Hothouse, our technology transfer office at Technological University Dublin."
Continuing, James said, "Ocumetra's success is largely the product of the pro-business knowledge transfer eco-system Hothouse delivers, allowing us to translate our academic research into commercial products that positively impact people's lives. We would also like to thank Knowledge Transfer Ireland for their work in supporting industry-academia partnership and research commercialisation. This KTI Impact Award win is for everyone who has believed in our vision and supported us through every stage of our growth, including our new strategic investment partners, Ocuco and Enterprise Ireland, along with our commercial partners who provide the key to helping us prevent eye disease and blindness through knowledge-based innovation."
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said:
"Congratulations to this year's winners. It's an incredible achievement, and I've no doubt all three initiatives will make a big difference to the healthcare and workplace of many in the future. These awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase what can be achieved when industry and our Higher Education Institutions come together to solve problems and improve outcomes for people. Data show that companies which collaborate with our universities have double the turnover of those that don't, so there are some real opportunities. Congratulations again to those being awarded today, but also to all the teams that took part and were in the running. I look forward to following your success in the months and years ahead."
KTI Director and Chair of the Judging Panel, Dr Alison Campbell said:
"Our 2021 winners all represent significant impact from research and exemplify what a vibrant knowledge transfer community looks like. Across diversity and inclusion, health technology and cutting-edge photonics our winners today are delivering economic and societal benefit. I applaud the hard work and dedication in the Innovation Offices in our Higher Education Institute, who are driven by the desire to make a difference and see research translated for public good. I congratulate everyone involved in the submission process and give my thanks to the judges who had a particularly difficult task this year such was the quality of entries."