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Queen's University spinout wins tech award for security conductor

By Rachel Martin

PicoPUF, a spinout from Queen's University's Centre for Secure Information Technologies, was declared the winner of the Northern Ireland Science Park Invent Award last night.

The Invent competition, which was run with Bank of Ireland UK, is a chance for inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs and students to pitch their prototypes and inventions in front of Northern Ireland's most experienced technology leaders.

The trio of Queen's researchers behind PicoPUF invented a security solution for the 'internet of things,' a network which connects electronic objects via the internet. The team invented a tiny semi-conductor IP core that provides unique authentication for even the cheapest microchip. It means any grade of device can have the highest level of security.

They took home a prize package of £13,000, a fast-track to NISP's Springboard programme, and a space on the NI TechMission to California in January 2016.

Brian Conlon, founder and chief executive of First Derivatives, was given the Invent competition's highest honour, the 2015 Innovation Founder Award. He has built the financial software business into one of the region's biggest success stories.

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