Inventors feeling good vibrations as projects gain commercial pace

Photo L-R: Colm O’Dwyer, Professor in Chemical Energy, UCC; Sharon Sheahan, Commercialisation Manager at UCC / Teagasc; Derry Fitzgerald, AudioSourceRE, CIT Rubicon; David Corkery, Technology Transfer Operations Manager at UCC

‘Good Vibrations’ will be among a selection of Beach Boys classics which will become available in stereo for the first time. A great calling card for Dr Derry Fitzgerald and his team at Cork School of Music, CIT and Rubicon, it’s just one of the innovative products bringing AudioSourceRE to global attention. It has also developed technology that can, for example, isolate a vocal or a guitar line from a recording.

This technology is set to become a mobile app, which could revolutionise karaoke and other wide use music formats. The RE stands for “reverse engineering”, which describes the way the software grabs single elements from previously engineered audio.

AudioSourceRE is also shortlisted for next Wednesday’s Bridge Network Invention of the Year Awards, which take place in UCC next Wednesday. This is the sixth year UCC has hosted the inventor awards, and their second year as a Bridge Network event.

Bridge Network is a technology transfer consortium comprising tech transfer offices from UCC, CIT, Teagasc, and IT Tralee. The Invention of the Year is sponsored by Purdy Lucey Intellectual Property.

Dr Fitzgerald is in a shortlist with innovations and inventions in agtech, anti-counterfeiting technology, audio engineering, biotherapeutics, nutraceuticals, sensor camera technology, and 3D printing technology.

“I am a huge fan of the Beach Boys,” said Dr Fitzgerald. “Getting my name on the sleeve of their album is really incredible. This remix has been done using our software to take the original mono recording into stereo.

“Until now, there has been equivalent to Photoshop in audio. With our technology, you can grab the singer out of a recording. You can take it from a CD, use it in a sample. You can grab just the drums and make them into a loop.

“People have been sampling from vinyl ever since the 1980s; they were doing some filtering, tidying it up a bit, but no more. This allows you to pull out just one element. There are many potential uses. An RTÉ crew could use it to remove the sound of a car driving by during a news report.

“For karaoke backing tracks, you might want to be a Beatle. You could pull out Paul, then sing along with George, John, and Ringo.”

Dr Fitzgerald and his team have developed this software over 18 years, working with musicians at Cork School of Music.

AudioSourceRE will pitch the technology to industry leaders at the Audio Engineering Society Conference 2018 in New York in October.

“I have been working on this for 18 years, so I have a lot of expertise in the area,” he said. “The software behind this has never been published. It would be very hard for someone else to reverse engineer what we have done.

“The record companies are very slow to let anyone get near their assets. Capitol Records agreed to give us access to the Beach Boys because they knew we could do something which would be useful for them. In terms of name recognition, the Beach Boys certainly gives us great credibility.”

Of course, the network has a stunning list of success stories. These include Atlantia Food Clinical Trials, the UCC and Teagasc collaboration on human diet. Luxcel Biosciences was acquired by Agilent Technologies. Oculus acquired InfiniLED in a deal which will see Irish-developed LED technology applied to virtual-reality devices. Moreover, lists some incredible technologies which are currently available.

Significant global attention will be paid to all of next week’s Invention of the Year contenders.

On the Invention of the Year shortlist is LiOSKIN, a 3D printed battery created by Colm O’Dwyer, professor in chemical energy in UCC and academic member at Tyndall National Institute. The battery can be made into any shape, it can be 3D printed. The battery could revolutionise wearable technology, medical devices, IoT, wireless technology, and other areas that use up a lot of small-sized batteries.

“The importance of this battery is that you can 3D print it, so you never have to get another replacement battery for things like medical devices or a range of other technologies,” said Prof O’Dwyer. “It can be attached to the outside of anything.”

Prof Anita Maguire, UCC’s vice-president for research and innovation, says the Bridge Network, rather than fostering competitive rivalries, has created powerful relationships between the partners in UCC, CIT, IT Tralee, and Teagasc.

She said the knowledge transfer offices in each institution deserve huge credit for the collective support they offer researchers in the consortium. The commercialisation of this research is a good indicator of its focus on outputs and collaboration.

UCC continues to be the best-funded research university in Ireland, having won competitive R&D investments of €99.9m in 2016/17, up 27% (€21.5m) over the last five years; of that €10m came from industry partners.

“The contenders for this year’s Invention of the Year come from a wide breadth of fields,” said Prof Maguire. “All of these innovations represent great commercial opportunities. There is a lot of great work behind the scenes in the technology transfer offices in bringing these great creative inventions forward for patent.

“The relationships that are developed in the network are very strong and have great long-term benefits,” said Prof Maguire. “Next Wednesday’s event serves a number of purposes. It brings attention to the research. It also brings together a lot of different stakeholders, people from a range of business environments.

“There are tremendous collaborations in the network, with all of the partners working together. On Wednesday, people will get to see the business opportunities in the inventions. The discussions after the event are often the most important part of the experience.”

Invention of the Year conders

Smart Camera: What if we could see the unseen? Well, Prof Nabeel Riza’s invention makes that hypothesis a reality. His CAOS (coded assisted optical sensor) camera will capture previously invisible scenes, which has immense implications for all sorts of applications from road safety and autonomous cars to deep surveillance. Based in UCC, Prof Riza’s CAOS camera transforms incident light into signals that undergo light detection and extreme dynamic range decoding via electronic wireless technology. This ‘smart camera’ also features full optical spectrum viewing from the UV to near InfraRed with special security features, and has won Riza a finalist slot at the 2018 AutoSens Award in Game Changer Award Category this month.

Battery Technology from Tyndall: Another really cool invention is that of the Magnetics team at Tyndall UCC. This world- leading integrated magnetics technology can improve power management efficacy of mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops and thus extend battery lifetime upon charging. This solves one of the biggest limitations currently experienced by users of mobile devices, and a major technical challenge for the industry. There is huge interest in this technology with a number of licences on the technology with major multinationals.

By Joe Dermody, Irish Examiner

Full article



Research, Innovation, Invention

Shortlist announced for 2018 Invention of the Year Awards

Photograph L-R: Dr. Sandra Lenihan, Dr Keith Bryan and Dr. Ken O’Connell from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)

Innovations and inventions in agtech, anti-counterfeiting technology, audio engineering, biotherapeutics, biotech, nutraceuticals3D printing technology and sensor camera technology, have been recognised as finalists for the 2018 Invention of the Year Awards 2018 by the Bridge Network. 

Bridge Network is the largest technology transfer consortium in Ireland and comprises of the technology transfer offices from University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Teagasc and the Institute of Technology Tralee. 

Today, the consortium announced the nominees from each of the consortium member institutions that have been shortlisted for the 2018 Invention of the Year Awards, which celebrate and recognise excellence in innovations and inventions whose benefits add significant impact to the economy and society.  

Previous Invention of the Year Award winners recognised by the consortium include the research team who invented the microLED technology behind InfiniLED, which was acquired by Facebook company Oculus in 2016. 

Announcing the 2018 Invention of the Year Awards shortlist, Vice President of Research & Innovation, University College Cork and Chair of the Bridge Network Governance Committee, Professor Anita Maguire said 

“The Invention of the Year Awards highlight the creativity and excellence of work by our researchers and recognise the impact of their innovations and inventions; this event provides an opportunity for us to showcase the quality and calibre of our people and their research discoveries to industry and to the broader research community. 

Outputs from our research in UCC, CIT, Teagasc and IT Tralee not only lead to breakthrough innovations and pioneering technologies across all industry sectors, but in addition through our knowledge transfer activities, we support our researchers on the journey of commercialisation ensuring the potential economic and societal impact of their work is optimised by the technology transfer capabilities of consortium member institutions. 

Examples of success stories resulting from this combined and collaborative effort across consortium members in the healthtech sector alone include the creation of world class companies such as Luxcel Biosciences recently acquired by Agilent TechnologiesOrthoXel and Loci Orthopaedics”. 

A judging panel comprising of Irish and international experts in research, innovation, commercialisation, knowledge transfer and industry, will consider the finalists for awards from each institution in the categories of bioscience, ICT & physical sciences. 

Full details of the finalists from each institution are detailed below. Congratulations to all: 

University College Cork 

Andrew Moore 

Sean O’Mathuna

Colm O’Dwyer 

Graeme Maxwell

Hugh Smiddy

John Cryan 

Joseph O’Brien 

Maria Bardosova 

Mark Tangney 

Martyn E. Pemble 

Maura Naughton 

Mikhail Parchine 

Nabeel Riza 

Paul McCloskey 

Paul Ross 

Santosh Kulkarni 

Ted Dinan 

Thomas Walther 

Tomas Kohoutek 

Willie Lawton 

Zoran Pavlovic 



Anne M Mullen 

Carlos Alvarez 

Catherine Stanton,  

Ciaran Harte  

Conor Warren 

Ed Lavelle  

Ismael Marcet Manríque 

Jonathan Lane  

Kai Man Tang  

Kieran Meade. 

Mariarosaria Marotta,  

Rita Hickey  

Sinead Morrin 

Steve Carrington 



Cork Institute of Technology 

Derry Fitzgerald 

Keith Bryan 

Ken O’Connell 

Sandra Lenihan 


Institute of Technology Tralee 

Aleksandra Augustyniak 

Helena McMahon 


The 2018 Invention of the Year Awards ceremony will be held in University College Cork on Wednesday 19 September 2018. If you wish to attend the event, please email 

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Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property

Collaborative response to HEA Intellectual Property Management Review

The Bridge Network is actively responding to the Review of Intellectual Property Management and Conflicts of Interest Policies published in February this year by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

The review by the Higher Education Authority and commissioned by Knowledge Transfer Ireland includes a number of recommendations for Higher Education Institutions regarding Intellectual Property Management and Conflicts of Interest Policies with a view to ensuring effective and high-quality governance of their knowledge transfer activities.

A series of initiatives have been undertaken by the Bridge Network consortium members in response to this review. UCC hosted a half-day workshop in May 2018 led by Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB, the commercialisation company of University College London and its partner NHS Trusts.

Following on from this workshop, each member institution of the consortium which includes UCC, CIT, Teagasc and IT Tralee, have reviewed their policies and as necessary, have begun drafting new policies to assure good practice and the implementation of the recommendations in the review.

This item was a key item for discussion at the Quarter 2 Governance Committee meeting held in July. Dr. David Corkery, Operations Manager for the Office of Technology Transfer, UCC, the lead consortium partner, commented “These efforts will further ensure the benefits of the consortium relationship is maximised for all partners and assure high quality of IP and Conflicts of Interest management in each member institution”.

University College Cork has established over 20 companies in the last number of years and has a body of experience to inform the discussion.  These draft policies and the thinking behind the adjustments will form part of the ongoing Bridge Network governance committee meeting discussions.

For more information please contact Dr. David Corkery: