Consultancy Finalists 2016

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the HSE National Clinical Programme for Surgery - Prof Frank Keane and Mr Ken Mealy

This project has transformed clinical pathways and saved many millions of euro. Commissioned by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in 2010, Prof Frank Keane and Mr. Ken Mealy of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) acted as clinical leads to deliver the National Clinical Programme for Surgery (NCPS). The objective was to increase the quality of and access to clinical care in Ireland while reducing the cost associated with the provision of such care. Developing a structured programmatic approach, from design to implementation, outputs from the NCPS included new national Models of Care for Acute and Elective Surgery, a national database of surgical activity, the mapping of national surgical clinical pathways and associated key performance indicators and a process and performance improvement programme for operating theatres. In order to encourage surgeons, clinical directors and hospital managers to more actively participate in day to day performance and process monitoring a web-based software tool, the National Quality Assurance Information System (NQAIS), for hospitals has also been developed. The NCPS has contributed to significant improvements in surgical services in Ireland. When 2014 activity was compared to that of the baseline year of 2010 it was found that although the volumes of surgical patients treated had increased by 12%, bed day usage went down by 13.4% and average length of stay (AvLOS) by 6.1% giving a gross bed day saving of 117,264. This equates to a net saving of €22,162,803. Without such transformation, the cost of delivering 12% more patient care episodes would have been €217.6 million. The NCPS work programme has expanded the engagement between RCSI and the HSE. The RCSI Office of Research and Innovation intends to use the success of this work to inspire RCSI researchers and associated clinicians to expand RCSI’s consultancy activities with business and other public sector organisations.   

Trinity College Dublin and Monford AG Systems - Prof Mike Jones, Dr Jake Byrne, Dr Hitesh Tewari, Dr Matt Saunders

This project has resulted in a new, simple and effective way for feedstock management. While filming “Farmers – A Year on the Land”, filmmaker Stephen Lock recognised the opportunity to develop an accurate, inexpensive and easy-to-use grass measurement tool for farmers. He met Trinity’s TTO team to understand how he could engage with Trinity to validate his concept and develop a prototype.  The TTO team made the connections. Monford  AG Systems,  had previously worked with Trinity in 2010, so there was an ideal fit with the multi-disciplinary team assembled from Trinity’s Schools of Computer Science & Statistics and Natural Sciences.  Monford AG Systems develops innovative hardware and software solutions for measuring and recording agricultural activity, specifically in the area of natural feed measurement, combining mapping and wearable sensor technology, to measure grass growth.  In 2011 they started the project that was key to developing the grass measurement product envisaged by Stephen Lock - the GrassOmeter.  GrassOmeter utilises the latest sensor and computer technologies to make accurate grass measurement and recording quick and simple for any grassland farm. Using ultrasound to measure grass height as the farmer walks around a field with a device from which measurements are sent to the farmer’s smartphone using Bluetooth where an app will carry out the calculations. GrassOmeter is a complete mapping, measurement and management system for the grassland farm, cutting farming costs and giving animals the best quality feedstuff more of the time.  Based on the consultancy with Trinity, Monford AG Systems launched GrassOmeter onto the market in 2015. The company has secured €1.4 million in funding, registered two patents including Trinity researchers as named inventors and hired an ex-Apple hardware designer as Head of Design.  The sharing of the GrassOmeter data with the School of Natural Sciences has been beneficial to Trinity researchers and Prof. Jones provides ongoing consultancy advice. As GrassOmeter’s feature set is developing, Monford plans to undertake further research and development with Trinity.

University College Dublin and Hao2 - Prof Lizabeth Goodman 

Hao2.eu is a UK social firm promoting the use of the latest in creative and digital technologies for inclusive innovation.  Hao2.eu has benefited from the wide range of high quality domain expertise available in UCD, which is not feasible to create in-house.  The company, with 80% of staff with autism, has spent the last few years exploring the potential of 3D virtual world technologies. UCD’s Professor Lizbeth Goodman is well known as an expert in interdisciplinary Art-Technology initiatives with a specialism in the cross-over between disciplines and community engagement on a global scale.  Professor Goodman drew on expertise at UCD’s SMARTlab, to offer the company advice in a variety of domains including artistic, creative, and technology. Partnering worldwide, Hao2.eu’s organisation has benefited from the expertise provided by artists, creators, and technologists to bring forward social innovation by observing tools, trends, methodologies and re-thinking them towards Hao2.eu requirements. It has used VR and 3D technology to empower people with some level of autism or Asperger’s to be more confident, learn life skills and future jobs skills so as to engage better in what are often impossible real world situations.  Also as a result of this consultancy, UCD SMARTlab has grown in terms of numbers and range of domain expertise to provide companies such as Hao2.eu with expertise, knowledge, and guidance.

Find the complete list of finalists for 2016 here.