News and Views
UCC PI’s 3D-printed battery powers into Bell Labs final
The prize recognises innovators with game-changing ideas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics set to potentially disrupt or profoundly change the state of human existence and experience by a factor of 10, with O’Dwyer’s work focused on the 3D-printing of a rechargeable battery into any shape to integrate with wearable technologies.
Dr O’Dwyer’s idea was one of hundreds of competitive applications worldwide and his group’s innovation was pitched recently at Bell Labs Prize Innovathon at its global headquarters in the US.
“Being shortlisted for this Prize is not only an honour, but it is motivating to see how our ideas and research dovetails with an integral part of the vision of Bell Labs for human-centric technology and how they see the evolution of wearable technology,” O’Dwyer said.
“At the core of future wearables and other technologies that require batteries and power sources, is the ability to print the battery seamlessly into any shape or form factor, and here in UCC, we have developed the fundamental science, engineering and the prototypes.”
“It’s a nice acknowledgement of the team here in the School of Chemistry, that Bell Labs are interested to see how our technology can form part of a disruptive technology innovation. Naturally, to win the Prize would be icing on the cake, and proof that fundamental research ideas can sometimes be ‘in the sights’ of companies that push the boundaries of thinking and technology,” he added.
The research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland through its Technology Innovation & Development Awards in 2013 and 2015, and by an SFI Investigator Award, with the goal of understanding and developing materials and methods, and rethinking the design of a rechargeable battery.