The aim of the NovaUCD CCDP, which is sponsored and supported by Enterprise Ireland, is to assist entrepreneurs in the establishment and development of new business ventures to commercialise the output of their research. Ventures participating on this year's Programme are commercialising research undertaken in disciplines such as Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, Medicine and Medical Science and Veterinary Medicine.
The establishment of new high-tech ventures is an essential element of realising the full commercial potential of the significant investment in research and development being made by the Irish Government. Many of the most innovative new ventures originate in a university environment and university-based entrepreneurs require assistance in defining and developing their innovative ideas, building multi-disciplinary teams, and preparing and implementing detailed business plans. This NovaUCD programme addresses these and other important facets of new venture formation.
Dr Pat Frain, Director, NovaUCD, said, “NovaUCD encourages and supports entrepreneurship and the establishment and development of new high-tech ventures. The CCDP is our main enterprise support programme which is designed specifically to assist academic entrepreneurs in developing start-up companies to commercialise university research.” He added “The new and innovative enterprises which are participating on this year’s Programme are critical to sustain the development and growth of Ireland’s knowledge-based economy. We are delighted Enterprise Ireland is continuing to support this Programme and their ongoing commitment signifies the important role it plays in supporting new UCD spin-outs.”
Now in its 12th year, the NovaUCD CCDP has assisted over 125 companies to develop their business. Previous winners of the CCDP include high-tech ventures such as BiancaMed, ChangingWorlds and Lightwave Technologies. FitFone, founded by Dr Conor O’Brien, was the overall winner of the 2006 CCDP. FitFone has designed, developed and patented platform technology which when embedded into a mobile phone facilitates remote health and fitness assessment to assist in increasing an individual’s life expectancy.
The CCDP is a nine-month, part-time programme designed to suit the busy timetable of researchers and academics. It offers a mix of monthly workshops, mentoring and one-to-one consultancy and is delivered by NovaUCD staff, with support from the NovaUCD sponsors, Enterprise Ireland, as well as other outside experts. It is designed to assist entrepreneurs in the establishment and development of knowledge-intensive enterprises by reducing the lead-in time associated with setting-up a business and providing the skills necessary to transform ideas into commercially feasible ventures.
Participants on the Programme have the opportunity to access NovaUCD’s desk space and incubation facilities and associated services and the Programme culminates with a high profile Awards Evening held in November.
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Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
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