UCD Spin-out scoops prize at 2023 Irish Times Innovation Award

16 November 2023

UCD Spin-out Infraprint has been named winner of the First Time Founder Award at the 2023 Irish Times Innovation Awards.

Co-founded by Dr Andrew Dickson and Professor Denis Dowling as a spin-out from the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials, the NovaUCD based company aims to increase the use of 3D printing through its TRAAM (thermal radiation assisted additive manufacturing) technology – which can print parts with almost twice the strength of existing 3D systems.

One of the biggest engineering challenges hampering the wide-scale adoption of 3D printing is that 3D parts are not as strong as conventionally moulded ones. 

To address this issue Dr Dickson developed TRAAM over a two-year period with the support of Professor Dowling, with funding from Enterprise Ireland.

Infraprint, which completed the 2022 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme run by NovaUCD, offers its technology as a service to customers and conducts trials using their designs and materials with a view to transitioning them to 3D printing as seamlessly as possible.

In addition to Infraprint, MyGug which has been supported by NovaUCD through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre, won the Sustainability Award, sponsored by Skillnet Ireland.

MyGug, based in Clonakilty, County Cork, and co-founded by Kieran Coffey and Fiona Kelleher, is an egg-shaped anaerobic digester that turns food waste into renewable energy and fertiliser. 

Dried bacteria are used to start the breakdown process and once the waste is macerated it flows into a storage tank. The end products are biogas and liquid plant feed. 

The feed can be used to enrich soil while a small pump pressurises the gas for use for heating or cooking.

Earlier this year MyGug completed the second AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, and was named the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2023 at the end of the programme.  

The focus of the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre, which runs the annual agccelerator programme, is to promote and accelerate early-stage start-ups and SMEs with disruptive innovations in the agri, agtech, agrifood and veterinary sectors, as they build their innovative businesses into leading enterprises creating jobs.

The centre, the first and only on-farm workspace hub in Ireland, is part of NovaUCD, and provides clients with preferred access to on-farm experimental facilities, allowing testing and trialing of products and services in the real-world environment at UCD Lyons Farm.

Source: NovaUCD