Irish Times Innovation Awards: 15 tech companies make shortlist

Prizes will be presented at the virtual awards ceremony on January 27th

Some 15 leading technology companies have been shortlisted for the annual Irish Times Innovation Awards.

In the IT and fintech category, the shortlisted groups are: UCD spinout NovoGrid, eCOMM Merchant Solutions, which was founded by Noel and Valerie Moran, and Galway-based Planet Payment Group Holdings.

In life sciences and healthcare, HidraMed Solutions, which is developing advanced dressings for wounds; Dublin-based Valitacell, and Oriel Sea Salt Co (trading as Oriel Marine Extracts) in Louth will battle for the award.

VorTech Water Solutions; ZiggyTec, which makes retrieving data from buildings easier, and software platform Retrokit have been shortlisted in sustainability.


In the new frontiers category, Lowden Guitars, which has produced a range of guitars with Ed Sheeran; Beauty Buddy, an app for beauty products, and Maris International Marine Projects, which provides technology to the oil and gas industries, will be considered.

In manufacturing and design, Sligo-based Ward Automation, Cyc-Lok, which makes bike parking lockers, and healthcare group MedScan3D will vie for the category.

Now in its 11th year, the awards are a key part of The Irish Times innovation coverage, which seeks to profile and promote successful business innovation across Ireland’s start-ups, SMEs and larger businesses.

The awards offer a platform for public and private sector organisations that are operating in Ireland to showcase their services, product or operational innovations.

This year, the awards programme has encompassed a 16-month calendar of activity and attracted more than 60 entries. There will be seven prizes presented at the awards ceremony: a winner from each of the five categories, a social innovation award (presented to the finalist whose project has made the greatest impact in terms of social enterprise) as well as the overall Innovation of the Year prize.

Sponsors of the awards include the UCD Michael Smurfit School, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and Skillnet Ireland.

The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges chaired by entrepreneur and Irish Times columnist Chris Horn. The awards ceremony will be held virtually on January 27th.

Galway-based medtech company Atlantic Therapeutics won The Irish Times Innovation of the Year award in 2019 for developing a non-invasive, long-lasting solution to bladder weakness and other disorders associated with pelvic floor muscle problems.

Other past winners have included Sigmoid Pharma, InTune Networks, Gabriel Scientific, Trustwater, OxyMem, Kastus, Panelduct and Arralis.