Irish inventors pitch 21 ‘Big Ideas’ to investors

Biodegradable chewing gum among inventions at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase

Minister of State at Dept of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Sean Sherlock. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister of State at Dept of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Sean Sherlock. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES


Non-stick biodegradable chewing gum, “smart paint” and a natural clean-up solution for toxic dumps are among 21 potentially marketable inventions being pitched at investors at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase.

The event, which opened this morning at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, allows 21 inventors pitch their new technologies to an audience of potential investors.

The aim is to connect the inventors with the right investors to establish new companies and, ultimately, create high-value jobs.

The inventors are researchers from Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) who have used public-funding to develop innovative technologies.

Among the other innovations is a movement analysis tool for athletes.

There were also treatments for high-blood pressure, a beefed-up data security system for documents stored in the cloud, and an “effortless” clothes hanger.

Opening the event, Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock congratulated the 21 inventors and their teams on their achievemnts .

“We are witnessing job-creation right in front of us here today. Some of the teams are already employing people and with continued support from Enterprise Ireland will continue to expand as high potential start up companies,” he said.

“ Today’s event is a great example of why Ireland was classified as a ‘top performer’ for innovation output in the EU. “

Later today Mr Sherlock will present Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Awards to three individuals who have successfully commercialised publicly-funded research.

Gearóid Mooney of Enterprise Ireland outlined the path that the inventors took to get an audience with potential investors.

“All of the ‘big ideas’ have come through the national technology transfer system which is funded through Enterprise Ireland.”

“Initially the technologies were developed by the researchers in Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) using public research funds. Then they were commercialised with funding and advice from Enterprise Ireland and the Technology Transfer Office within the HEIs”.

“Many of the inventors have been teamed-up with business partners by Enterprise Ireland. The inventors and their teams have worked incredibly hard to get to this point where they are now ready to do deals with investors” he said.