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TU Dublin researcher wins SFI Technology Innovation Development Award

Posted: 7 February, 2019

Professor Brendan Duffy, TU Dublin – City Campus, has been awarded funding under the SFI Technology Innovation Development Award programme announced today.

The effect of surface treatment of metal on a bone cell growth

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced €4.5 million in funding for 38 research projects to support the commercialisation of government-funded research.

Professor Brendan Duffy explained that his project concerns the development of bio-functional coating to assist in ‘osteointegration and bone healing’ in orthopaedic implants. “Over 4,500 hip replacements are carried out in Ireland every year. Almost 500, otherwise successful, surgeries require further intervention to repair the implant because of loosening between the device and the bone. This is painful for the patient and costly for the health service. This project will help to solve this problem by developing a new surface treatment for the implant that will make it easier for the bone and implant to 'stick' together which will improve adhesion and reduce the risk of failure.”

Continuing Professor Duffy said, "The funding will expand on the excellent work carried out by Sankalp Agarwal who has just completed his PhD with TU Dublin and under my supervision and my colleagues Dr Swarna Jaiswal and Prof. James Curtin."

Prof Brian O'Neill, Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation Services at TU Dublin, City Campus said, “We welcome this latest award from the SFI TIDA programme which will support groundbreaking research from the Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST) to bring about direct healthcare benefits. CREST surface coating technology will deliver novel solutions to reduce failure in some 4,500 hip replacements carried out in Ireland annually and improve outcomes for patients and professionals alike.  This is a further example of CREST's leading track record in translating in-house fundamental knowledge from the bench-top to the market for the healthcare and biomedical industries". 

The funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, which provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers.   

Speaking of the awards, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said “I am delighted to announce the recipients of the SFI TIDA Awards and commercialisation support for 38 research projects. The programme is aligned with a number of key Government strategies including Innovation 2020, the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland and Project Ireland 2040. It will develop important entrepreneurship skills and commercialisation capabilities, ensuring Ireland maintains its position as a leader in cutting-edge research.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, also welcomed the announcement, adding: “Through the SFI TIDA programme the Irish government is supporting and encouraging innovation and collaborative partnerships, across the regions. Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and helping researchers in Ireland to realise the commercialisation potential of their work is an important factor in deepening Ireland’s economic resilience.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, “Science Foundation Ireland is committed to investing in the translation of world-class research from the laboratory to market. A key objective is to increase the number and quality of discoveries that have strong economic impact potential, that can secure follow-on public or private investment. The TIDA programme plays a key role in this process by providing funding to develop technologies, as well as fostering entrepreneurship skills among our research community.”

See the full details on this announcement here