News and Views

Dr Sally Cudmore appointed Director of UCC Innovation

21 Nov 2022
  • Scientist and entrepreneur appointed to drive innovation at UCC.
  • UCC researchers address real-world challenges to secure a better future for all.
  • UCC Innovation supports the translation of research from the lab into practice for the benefit of communities.

University College Cork (UCC) has appointed Dr Sally Cudmore as its new Director of Innovation. Under Dr Cudmore’s leadership, UCC’s research community will advance its efforts to deliver breakthroughs, expertise, and technologies to enhance society and economy.    

Dr Cudmore, who held the position of Interim Director since June 2021, is the first woman to be appointed as Director of Innovation at University College Cork.   

Welcoming the appointment, Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation, said: said: “I am delighted that Dr Cudmore will lead UCC Innovation at this exciting time for research and innovation in UCC. Through our UCC Futures programme, cutting edge technologies and ideas are being harnessed to tackle global challenges in an ambitious and creative manner. This role will accelerate entrepreneurial activity across campus and as the first female leader of this office, Sally will be a role model to inspire even greater female entrepreneurship participation”.

A science graduate of UCC, Dr Cudmore has over twenty-five years of leadership experience in academia and industry. Following a PhD in Cell Biology from European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, she completed her postdoctoral research at University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  She then moved to the pharmaceutical industry where she led the Cell Biology division in Elan Pharmaceuticals research and development. She has an MSc in Technology Management from Smurfit Business School in UCD.  

In 2002, Dr Cudmore returned to UCC where she took on the role of General Manager of APC Microbiome Ireland, a world-leading SFI research centre based at UCC, which explores how to harness and manipulate microbes for the benefit of human and planetary health. During her management, APC secured €200 million in competitive research funding, collaborated with more than 70 companies from the food, pharma and biotech sectors, trained more than 600 research graduates, spun out 4 companies, and published over 3,000 research articles.  

Dr Cudmore co-founded UCC spin-out company, Atlantia Clinical Trials Ltd, which provides clinical trial expertise to the food, beverage and supplements sectors, and served as the (part-time) CEO for its initial years. Atlantia employs 85 people in Cork and Chicago today.

Dr Sally Cudmore commented: “I am excited to take on this role and drive UCC’s ambition to become the innovation university in Ireland. My goal is to grow UCC’s impact even further through an ambitious programme to enhance entrepreneurship amongst students, graduates and staff resulting in an increased number of new companies created.  We also aim to develop strategic partnerships with industry, through developing a new Business Engagement Unit that will interface with industry and provide access to the breadth of research, innovation and expertise in UCC.”

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