Genetic testing start-up wins UCD award

Prolego Scientific’s are used to improve animal health and performance metrics

The founders of Prolego Scientific Belinda Hernández, Andrew Parnell and Mahdi Amina. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The founders of Prolego Scientific Belinda Hernández, Andrew Parnell and Mahdi Amina. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

A start-up offering artificial intelligence solutions used to improve the accuracy of genetic tests has won University College Dublin’s start-up of the year award.

Prolego Scientific’s tests are used in a variety of areas such as improving animal health and performance metrics. The tests in turn improve the quality of the food chain. For example, in the poultry and aquaculture markets, the tests can be used to predict metrics such as meat tenderness, resistance to antibiotics and protein yields.

Belinda Hernández, a founder of the company alongside Andrew Parnell and Mahdi Amina, said the award was “an honour” and a “great acknowledgement of our work, success and progress to date”.

“We are currently seeking to raise €500,000 in seed funding to enable the expansion of our services into high volume, high turnover industries such as poultry and aquaculture, piloting first in the Irish and UK broiler chicken breeding market before progressing into areas such as egg laying chickens, salmon, mussel and oyster breeding,” she added.

The prize for winning the award, which was run by the UCD Venture Launch Accelerator Programme, was €20,000.