Belfast Telegraph

Innovators battle it out for £25,000 prize

By Clare Weir

Teams from Northern Ireland universities are competing to be the 'next big thing' for a lucrative £25,000 prize.

Research teams from Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster have made the shortlist for the NISP CONNECT £25K awards with their innovations ranging from an anti-counterfeiting solution for medicines, wind turbine blades made from recycled materials to a touch screen device for the hospitality sector.

The awards at Northern Ireland Science Park have been designed to offer a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs to showcase their intellectual property concepts, and with the hope of transforming their ideas into commercial reality following rigorous judging from industry experts and seasoned investors.

NISP CONNECT director, Steve Orr said that collaboration between academia and business was vital for securing success of the future knowledge-based economy.

"The £25K awards is about facilitating and enabling inventive individuals and arming them with the knowledge to take them to the next stage in their career," he said.

"We connect the selected applicants with networks of potential partners and offer a mentoring service from experienced entrepreneurs who can pass on their insight and business acumen."

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Invest NI, Queen's University Belfast, University of Ulster and the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), the awards night will be held on September 23 at Northern Ireland Science Park.