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2020 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards: winners announced

11 December 2020

Watch the 2020 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards special virtual event with guest of honour Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Now in their sixth year, these awards are a joint initiative of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland and they are sponsored by KPMG, Ulster Bank and media partner The Irish Times. Dr. Mary Canning, President said of these awards

“The shortlisted and winning research innovations presented during today’s event clearly highlight the importance and value of collaboration between research in Irish higher education institutes and industry, to our global society.  We must foster and encourage greater cooperation and these awards celebrate what close cooperation can achieve.”

Watch the awards ceremony

2020 US-Ireland Research & Innovation Awards from American Chamber of Commerce on Vimeo.

The winners are: 

Higher Education Institute/Research Centre: Ulster University with Avellino 

Accepting the award, Professor Tara Moore, Professor of Personalised Medicine at Ulster University said 

We are delighted to receive the US-Ireland Research Innovation Award. The research excellence underpinning this nomination is the culmination of many years of dedication and the collaborative efforts of the research teams at Ulster University and Avellino USA. This project would not have been possible without the sustained support of Avellino USA and their dedication to developing partner diagnostics and therapeutics for these rare genetic eye diseases. At Ulster University we pride ourselves on working with industrial partners to bring expertise that solves real and tangible problems and helps business to innovate, develop and grow. By matching business needs with product development roadmaps supported by research we have achieved excellent outcomes for the life and health sciences sector and wider society”. 

Innovation in Talent Development Award: Microsoft Dreamspace

On the news of receiving this award, Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said

“We’re honoured to accept the US-Ireland Research Innovation Award in recognition of the innovative approach taken to the creation and roll-out of our DreamSpace digital skills experience. Since its development in 2018, DreamSpace has proven to be a catalyst for change in STEM education. The programme’s unique approach to learning has helped to equip over 40,000 young people and teachers across the island of Ireland with the coding, AI and computational thinking skills they need to participate fully in our digital world. The research framework underpinning DreamSpace and its impact to date is a direct result of the strong partnership which has developed between the Microsoft Education team and researchers within the Assisted Living and Learning (ALL) Institute at Maynooth University. By coming together to match in-demand digital skills with the creation of an immersive STEM learning experience, we’re empowering the next generation to succeed.”

Irish operations of a US Multi-national Company: Boston Scientific Clonmel 

Michael Keane, Director of Process Development, Boston Scientific accepted this award and said

“We are honoured to have received the AMCHAM US-Ireland Research Innovation Multinational Award 2020 for the development of the Boston Scientific TactraTM Malleable Penile Implant. The innovative technology is the result of a global research and development collaboration, led by our Clonmel, Ireland team and involving our Minnetonka and Marlborough teams in the U.S.  The product has been developed to treat patients affected by Erectile Dysfunction - a surprisingly common condition in men over 40 – and the development teams have been recognised as an exemplar of global collaboration within the company. The project has enabled additional research and development opportunities for this successful transatlantic partnership.”

President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Carin Bryans said Covid-19 has heightened the general awareness of the importance of research and development activity. This has made these awards extra special this year. The world-class level of innovation happening right here, right now is remarkable. It is the teams within Irish operations of US companies, constantly reinventing themselves that has moved Ireland up the value chain to provide high quality products & services for customers around the world.  We can all be incredibly proud of their work and innovation. The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards demonstrate that Ireland now stands at the leading edge of competitive innovation.

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