Belfast Telegraph

24 ground-breaking innovations shortlisted for an intensive pitch

By Staff Reporter

Nearly 100 ground-breaking ideas from entrepreneurs around Northern Ireland have been selected to compete against each other for the Northern Ireland Science Park's Connect Invent 2014 competition.

The park said ideas had been submitted as the organisation holds its search for Northern Ireland's new heroes of innovation across six sectors – creative media and consumer internet, agri-food, life and health, engineering, electronics and enterprise software.

From 92 ideas, 24 have now been chosen after a series of intensive pitches.

For the first time, this year's competition (formally the 25K Awards) expanded to include not only research institutions, but any private sector company or individual with a breakthrough invention or prototype – with the result that entries more than tripled.

The top 24 include Autism Bio-tech, the world's first diagnostic test for early and reliable diagnosis of autism, Write to Read, a mobile application to improve the comprehension and retention of words a person with dyslexia reads and See.Sense, a cycling power meter which uses patent sensor technology.

The NISP Connect Invent competition, in partnership with Bank of Ireland, is described as presenting an opportunity for anyone with an innovative concept, from long-established research scientists right through to a teenager with an idea for the world's next big gaming app.

Programme manager Peter Edgar said the high number of entrants demonstrated the wealth of innovation in Northern Ireland.

"To think that we saw 92 ideas which are contemporary, revolutionary and have the potential to be remembered for hundreds of years to come, is simply remarkable.

"We have such a great history of innovation in Northern Ireland – in fact, some of the world's greatest inventions have their very birthplace here – so this is another step in celebrating our pioneering legacy.

"All the entrants have demonstrated real passion and belief, and we look forward to seeing many of these ideas become commercial realities."

An audience of 200 guests will be able to hear the ideas of the finalists at a "quick pitch" event at W5 in Belfast on May 27.

Belfast Telegraph