Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Inventors battle it out in NISP CONNECT 25k Awards

A night-vision motorcycle helmet, a lip-reading mobile phone app, a machine that turns slurry into powder and a drug-delivering putty.

These have all gone forward to the next round of a funding competition for inventions.

The NISP CONNECT 25k Awards are a showcase for the ideas with the most commercial potential from Queen's University and the University of Ulster.

Each of the 10 finalists in the 25k Award receives £500 and each category award winner receives £2,500.

The prize culminates with an awards ceremony where the winner is awarded £10,000.

Steve Orr, director of NISP CONNECT, said that Northern Ireland could become one of Europe's leading knowledge economies in Europe by 2030.

"NISP CONNECT sees the enormous potential for local companies in the wider tech sector to be able to compete in a global market producing high quality, high paid jobs," he said. "Excellence in research and development of our universities, coupled with the access to world-class business expertise provided by the NISP CONNECT community, will see real businesses and jobs emerge in the future and for the long term."

The 10 finalists cover the categories of bio-tech, clean-tech, digital media and software and hi-tech as described below. The winner will be announced at a gala event on September 26.

Liopa is the world's first lip authentication processor for mobile devices, which could eventually replace the traditional security password.

Sarah King from Nite Rider told how her invention of an in-helmet night vision camera could help bikers to see all approaching traffic, even if other motorists have forgotten or neglected to turn their lights on.

The ADFertech device could help save farmers and fertiliser companies millions by converting waste products and volatile liquid fertiliser into a simple granulated product for ease of storing and spreading.

And Jenarron Therapeutics Ltd has developed a hydrogel-based drug delivery platform – a kind of putty – that can be used to present a wide range of pharmaceutical agents to wounds.

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