INVENT competition Top 24 revealed: NI Innovation is among best in the world

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NISP Connect

Ninety-two ground-breaking ideas with the potential to change how we live, work and play have been submitted as part of the Northern Ireland Science Park’s CONNECT INVENT 2014 competition.


The unprecedented number of entries was put forward to this year’s search to find Northern Ireland’s new heroes of innovation across six sectors- Creative Media and Consumer Internet; Agri-Food; Life & Health; Engineering; Electronics and Enterprise Software.




The 92 entrants have now been whittled down to 24 after a series of intensive initial pitches running between 24-30 April.


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. 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 using their patent sensor technology.


The NISP CONNECT INVENT competition, in partnership with Bank of Ireland, is 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.


The Top 24 will now reveal their ideas to the public for the first time at a “Quick Pitch” event in an attempt to secure the much sought after backing that will turn their innovations into a commercial reality. The “Quick Pitch” event will see the chosen 24 pitch to an audience of 200 guests at W5 in Belfast on 27 May 2014, where 12 finalists will then be chosen.


NISP CONNECT Programme Manager, Peter Edgar said the high number of entrants demonstrates 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 realties.”


The Top 12 will take part in a unique six month programme which will see their ideas challenged, refined and cultivated in order to launch a successful start-up business.


Finalists will then pitch their business plans to a panel of experts in September and the winner will be announced at a gala Awards showcase in Belfast on 2nd October 2014.


Last year’s winner was ProAx-SiS, a Queen’s University Belfast team developing a range of novel medical diagnostic tests for patients with chronic conditions.


Julie Ann O’Hare, Business Banking Director at Bank of Ireland UK said:


“The quality and volume of entrants for INVENT 2014 has been fantastic. It clearly demonstrates the wealth of innovative talent that exists in Northern Ireland with real potential to contribute to economic prosperity. We are delighted to play our part in mentoring, challenging and supporting the finalists as they progress through the programme. Bank of Ireland UK believes that the programme continues to deliver real benefits in developing the commercialisation of these inventions.”


As part of INVENT 2014, the search is now on to find this year’s ‘Innovation Founder’- a person who has achieved distinction in founding, leading or building a celebrated local life sciences or technology based business.

The 2014 winner will address the gala dinner in October. Nominations are open until 28 May 2014.

Tickets to the “Quick Pitch” event on 27 May 2014 are available now on

For more information on INVENT, or to nominate an Innovation Founder, visit


Introducing the top 24 Teams!


Enterprise Software 1


Donor2Deed is an online fundraising and communications tool that uses Google Maps to enable Charities and Non-Profits be more transparent to their donors. It enables them to embrace digital giving, increasing their online donations at a low-cost, while giving donors a personal giving experience and communicating visually the impact their donations make.


PlotBox is SaaS for the death industry. It is a cloud platform for cemeteries and crematoria that manages all their operations in the one place. The software is flow-based, flexible and easy to use with a unique GIS mapping solution.


Sixty-5 uses GPS technology via a suite of farming apps to guide, control or assist agricultural field operations for improved efficiency and productivity while capturing and storing vital field data enabling farmers to utilise and manage their available resources more effectively.


Vouchery is an integrated gift voucher platform aimed at small to medium sized businesses to help them sell and redeem vouchers in a secure, connected and fraud-free way.

Creative Media 1

 Limejar Ltd

Limejar is creating a fun, interactive and comprehensive mobile app based learning suite for children with Autism along with a corresponding web application to allow parents and professionals to communicate and monitor their development.

Little Deli

Time is money, so why Queue? Order lunch with Little Deli, the app bringing innovation to lunchtime.

 Inlifesize Deep Paper

Inlifesize developed Deep Paper as a next-gen digital comic platform that embraces all aspects of digital technology.

Write to Read

Write to Read is a mobile application capable of photographing text and displaying on screen in a bespoke font, proven to improve the comprehension and retention of words a person with dyslexia reads.


Engineering 1

 Green Sword

Green Sword have developed microbial solutions with powerful cleaning and remediation powers which meets the most stringent of environmental standards which can be used to clean oil contaminations.


iTouchEnergy has developed an easy to install solar energy generating window blind that brings affordable green energy into homes, apartments, and offices including high rises where roof space for solar panels is limited.


CoolSafe360 has invented a 20W 360 degree Super-bright, long life LED bulb that is identical in size and shape to old incandescent bulb.

Calorgen Biomass Ltd 

Calorgen Biomass Ltd is introducing a natural range of wood pellets which will lower dust fines, have greater durability, higher heat value and better combustion than existing pellets on the market.


Life and Health 1

 Autism Bio-tech

Autism Biotech has a ground-breaking product: ASDtectTM, the world’s first diagnostic test for early and reliable diagnosis of autism.

Smart Health Technology

Smart Health Technology have developed SmartMDS. SmartMDS signals when medicines are due to be taken, monitors when they are taken and alerts if they are taken incorrectly.


WiFiEar is a new form of “induction loop” system. It helps the hearing impaired to improve hearing experience in daily life by utilising their smart phone’s WiFi connections.

Vaccine Tabs

Vaccine Tabs QUB is a novel vaccine delivery system that brings together easy to administer formulations that safely encapsulate vaccine while delivering it nasally.


Agri-Food 1


A  Master’s student, leading academics at the University of Ulster and an equine vet have developed the first deformable composite horseshoe, integrating sensing technology that can analyse and record equine behaviour and locomotion under normal field conditions.

 Inner Delight

Inner Delight are a baking company that have developed exceptional gluten free products superior to other brands, their aim is to revolutionise gluten free products not only for Coeliacs but for all baked good lovers!

Queen’s University Belfast Parasitology

Dr Johnathan Dalzell and his team at QUB Parasitology have developed a new method of protecting crop plants from damaging pests by delivering safe pesticides into the soil from terrestrial microorganisms.


TrueFood have developed an advanced prototype that can be used by food importers to quality check vegetable oils.  The pioneering technology will be expanded to capture big data and use it to improve food security and fight against food fraud.


Electronics 1

 Amphora Technologies

Amphora Technologies has developed a novel on site electrical durability monitoring system for measuring corrosion risk and salt ingress in concrete structures. This system will highlight durability issues years before they would be picked up by visual analysis leading to greatly reduced repair costs.

Photonic Measurements

Photonic Measurements has developed a chemical analyser using a combination of novel techniques allowing for a wide range of measurements.


See.Sense has developed a lower cost cycling Power Meter using their own patent sensor technology.

Natural Optimum Health

Natural Optimum Health has created a new digital Electrical Impulse Sensor. Amongst a number of possible functions, it will enhance users’ experience to locate acupressure points with ease and confidence. It will assist thousands of people who want to self-administer acupressure to treat a wide range of conditions, e.g. pain management.