Mathematician and entrepreneur Nora Khaldi will compete for Ireland in a TEDx event called "Made in Europe"organised by the European Union.
It will see participants from the 28 member states assembled in Luxembourg in November where they will present solutions to societal challenges such as the delivery of healthcare and climate change.
Those with the 10 best solutions for global challenges will then be invited on to the TEDx stage in the Hague on March 31st in an event organised as part of the Dutch presidency in 2016.
“I didn’t see it coming, but I am delighted ,” Dr Khaldi said on her invitation from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to take part.
“It is great to represent Ireland and great to be chosen as an innovator of ground-breaking technology.”
Dr Khaldi is a mathematician with a PhD in molecular evolution and bioinformatics from Trinity College Dublin. She is also the founder and CSO of Nuritas, a biotechnology company that was recently awarded the 2015 SVG Thrive Accelerator Award at the "Forbes Reinventing America AgTech" summit in Salinas, California.
“It is not about selling the company, it is about the research, the research I do every day at Nuritas in understanding food and how it interacts with the human body,” Dr Khaldi said.
Nuritas is involved in “food bioinformatics at a molecular level”, she said. It involves looking at the breakdown of food and how food components interact with the body.
“When you eat food you are eating proteins and DNA and sugars, all complex molecules. People don’t know what those molecules are doing in the body. If we could understand what those molecules are doing you could turn this into nutritional elements say to help diabetes,” she explains.
Dr Khaldi is excited about taking part in the Made in Europe event. “I am really looking forward to it, it will be fun and I will do my best for Ireland.”