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Innovator of the Year

UCC wants to recognise ingenuity and hard work of innovators so this award will be to an academic, researcher or team whose innovative research has led to the creation of intellectual property (IP) that has the best potential to be commercialised via a new service or product.

This award will be for an invention disclosed to UCC Innovation (via an Invention Disclosure Form, IDF) or a patent filed in 2023. Inventions should have the potential to make major technological progress and show a high degree of inventiveness. The invention should also display a recognisable benefit to society or the environment, enhance the reputation of UCC innovation and demonstrate potential economic success.

Nominations will be submitted by UCC Innovation as per the eligibility criteria.

Nomination Procedure

  • Nominations for Innovation awards will be made by Commercialisation Case Managers, from UCC’s IP and commercialisation portfolio. If you would like your innovation activity to be considered, please contact your case manager.

Evaluation Criteria





  • Innovative or creative thinking.
  • Potential to make major technological progress and show a high degree of inventiveness.
  • Demonstration of technology application with strong commercial potential, rather than purely scientific or technological achievement.
  • Priorities are focussed on innovations that deliver commercial outcomes.
  • Active engagement with business and/or private investment to see research applied and taken to market.



  • Demonstrate achieved, or potential to achieve, economic, social or environmental impact of the innovation.
  • National and/or International recognition of excellence.


Evaluation Panel

  • Dr Sally Cudmore - Director of UCC Innovation
  • Michael Lucey - Patent Attorney and Director Purdy Lucey Intellectual Property
  • Dr Siobhán Jordan - Head of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation at Teagasc
  • Donal Daly - CEO Future Planet and UCC Entrepreneur-In-Residence


Previous Winners

Year Awardee College/School/Department/Centre
2023 Professor Holger Claussen, Dr Senad Bulja, Dr Lester Ho Tyndall National Institute
2022 Dr Patrick Harrison and Dr Lucia Santos (Life Sciences)
Dr Alan O'Riordan, Dr Han Saho and Dr Tarun Narayan
Department of Physiology
Tyndall National Institute and VistaMilk
2021 Dr Frank Peters School of Physics

Research & Innovation Awards

Gradaim Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC