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Winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards

18 May 2018

The winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards were announced on Friday 18 May at the American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.

The presentations took place in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road in Dublin in the presence of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D.; President and Officers of the Academy, Members of the US-Ireland business community and Academy guests. The awards are jointly presented by the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber of Commerce to recognise excellence in research innovation across three categories:

1. A Higher Education Institution (HEI)/ Research Centre or institute based on the island of Ireland with links to the US corporate sector in Ireland
2. An Irish SME with links to the US corporate sector in Ireland
3. The Irish operations of a US headquartered and controlled multinational company

The winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for an Irish Higher Education Institute or Research Centre with US corporate links:

Connect Centre for Future Networks

CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for Future Networks and Communications was founded in 2015 with research funding of €55million. It includes 250 academic research staff across ten Irish universities and colleges, and more than 30 Irish and international industry partners. CONNECT’s goal is to change the way networks are designed, created, owned, and operated, so that we can expand the reach, the possibilities and the impact of a connected world of people and things.  

ViSQOL is a software platform for evaluating audio quality on the web by "looking" at sounds. It can predict sound quality in a wide range of internet scenarios from streaming music and video conferencing to virtual reality 3D spatial audio.

Based on previous research undertaken by Dr Hines to examine how speech would sound from different hearing aids, Google have supported the development of this research innovation to examine its application in video-conferencing. The result is ViSQOL: a software platform that can predict sound quality in a wide range of internet scenarios including music, video streaming, video conferencing and virtual reality 3D spatial audio.


The winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for an Irish Microenterprise/SME with links to the US corporate sector in Ireland:

Oxymem Ltd

Based in Westmeath, OxyMem, a NovaUCD spin-out company, is a leading innovator in energy efficient wastewater treatment. They have won this award for their application of Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR), developed by OxyMem, a breakthrough technology focused on wastewater aeration.

Global water demand trends are making wastewater infrastructure a major challenge for populations and industries across the globe. OxyMem’s MABR technology has demonstrated excellent promise in lowering operational costs for the wastewater treatment process due to reduced energy demand. This also makes the technology a strong sustainability value proposition – it can help encourage greater adoption of water reuse and as a result, advance a circular economy that makes water a well-managed resource, sustained by advances in science and technology.

Dow, the US water and process solutions multinational, began investing in Oxymem in 2016. This investment will accelerate the commercialisation of OxyMem’s MABR.

The winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for the Irish operations of a US headquartered and controlled multinational company:

Xilinx

The Xilinx Ireland team successfully designed a software defined radio microchip (RFSOC) in 16nm FinFET technology, which is an industry first to address the emerging cost, power, size and flexibility requirements in emerging 5G cellular networks.

Xilinx Ireland is regional EMEA headquarters of Xilinx Inc, based in California. They are the world’s leading provider of all programmable FPGAs, SoCs, MPSoCs and 3D ICs, enabling the next generation of smarter, connected, and differentiated systems and networks.

The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards are sponsored by KPMG and Ulster Bank with media partner The Irish Times.


The call for expressions of interest in the 2019 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards is now open. Please email innovate@ria.ie to register your interest.

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