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Published 09/02/2016

Elaine Smyth, head of programmes at the Northern Ireland Science Park, Neil Hanley, from PicoPUF, and Ian Sheppard, head of business and corporate banking at Bank of Ireland, launch the Invent competition
Elaine Smyth, head of programmes at the Northern Ireland Science Park, Neil Hanley, from PicoPUF, and Ian Sheppard, head of business and corporate banking at Bank of Ireland, launch the Invent competition

Northern Ireland’s top tech firms are being encouraged to apply for this year’s Invent competition.

The annual competition, which is run by the Northern Ireland Science Park’s NISP Connect programme, sees the top concepts and businesses awarded for inspiring efforts.

It’s being launched for 2016, after five previous winners have just returned from a successful tech mission to the US.

Businesses will be competing for share of a £33,000 prize fund, along with a place on next year’s mission to California.

Last year it was PicoPUF, a spinout from Queen’s University’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies, which was declared the overall winner.

The trio of researchers behind PicoPUF invented a security solution for the ‘internet of things’, a network which connects electronic objects through the internet.

And another previous category winner, Chris Martin of the Skunkworks Surf Co in Portrush, said the “competition allowed us to test our ideas, get better connected within the entrepreneurial community and gave us great publicity”.

“I have to admit that the tech mission to San Diego was a huge incentive for us to apply and it really did exceed all expectations. It’s also a great opportunity to pitch to some top experts,” he added.

The winners will be announced in front of around 600 guests on September 29.

Belfast Telegraph

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