Belfast Telegraph

Antenna for success helps team lift top prize at technology awards

By David Elliot

A team from Queen's University in Belfast has walked away with £13,000 after taking the top prize in a local technology entrepreneur competition.

The Flish team's product, a low cost, low power antenna which is able to pick up satellite signals automatically and could make satellite dishes a thing of the past, took the overall prize at the NISP CONNECT £25K awards at Belfast's Titantic Pump House.

The awards are designed to encourage researchers to commercialise their ideas.

"It is a great honour to be crowned the overall winner of the £25K Awards," Neil Buchanan from Flish said. "We have worked in conjunction with the European Space Agency to fine tune our unique analogue circuit design and have been able to produce an end product that is more power-efficient, lighter and less costly than anything else currently available.

"The global market value of antennas was estimated to be $10.1bn in 2009 and expected to increase to $13.3bn in 2014 and we believe our innovation has the potential to be a real game changer for the industry.

"We plan to capitalise on our learning experiences to seek funding to see the business through to profitability," said Mr Buchanan.

The equipment developed by Flish is a high gain antenna which has the ability to 'point' to distant signals such as a satellite.

It does not need to be aligned, like a satellite dish, and has no moving parts.

It also has potential application in transportation.

The more compact antenna, which has the ability to point to a signal in milliseconds, could also have military and disaster relief applications.

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