NovaUCD-Supported Companies Plan to Create 1,100 Jobs and Raise €290 million over the Next Two Years

19 October 2023

Minister Richmond TD launches NovaUCD 20-Year Anniversary Report

Over 550 companies and early-stage ventures supported since 2003

NovaUCD entrepreneurial community raised €1.3+ billion in equity funding

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond TD today officially launched a new report, entitled NovaUCD Ideas to Impact Since 2003The report highlights the economic and societal impact of NovaUCD and marks the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the hub of innovation and start-up activities at University College Dublin (UCD).

Since 2003, UCD has supported 550+ companies and early-stage ventures through the services and supports provided across the University by NovaUCD, and through business support programmes run and managed by NovaUCD. In addition, the NovaUCD entrepreneurial community has raised €1.3+ billion in equity funding over the last 20 years.

NovaUCD is currently supporting 70+ start-ups and established companies to grow and scale on the national and global stage. Based on the results of a short survey these companies collectively plan to create over 1,100 jobs and raise over €290 million in funding during the next 2 years.

Minister Neale Richmond TD said, “Innovation opens the door to future growth, future prosperity and future jobs and I am delighted to be here to see first-hand the impact NovaUCD has had on start-ups, both today and over the last 20 years.  Start-ups are the life blood of the Irish economy and the report clearly demonstrates UCD’s leadership role in supporting entrepreneurs and their contribution to economic and social development.

Over the past twenty years, NovaUCD has supported over 550 companies, raising over €1.3 billion in funding and I look forward to seeing what the future holds. Government will continue to support NovaUCD through a range of funding initiatives to ensure that the pipeline of disruptive and innovative companies continues to expand from this excellent facility.”

Professor Orla Feely, President, University College Dublin, said, “I would like to thank Minister Richmond for being with us today to mark the twentieth anniversary of the official opening of NovaUCD and to formally launch the Ideas to Impact report.

UCD is committed to playing a strategic role in Ireland’s innovation and knowledge exchange ecosystem as an enabler of economic growth and talent development. One way we support this commitment is through NovaUCD which is focused on the commercialisation of our research outputs, creating new ventures, nurturing and scaling start-ups and established companies with global reach, and creating jobs.

I welcome this new report which outlines NovaUCD’s achievements and impressive metrics and impact since 2003 and highlights the significant funding and job creation plans of the NovaUCD entrepreneurial ecosystem over the next two years. It also includes stories of how the University through NovaUCD’s activities strives to makes a difference to the lives of others in Ireland and in the wider world and contribute to areas of global concerns.”

UCD’s knowledge transfer team, which is responsible for the commercialisation of the intellectual property emerging from UCD’s world-class research programmes, is also based at NovaUCD.

In the last twenty years, 70 new UCD spin-out companies have been incorporated; 1,165+ inventions have been disclosed by UCD researchers; 370+ priority patent applications have been filed and 320+ licensing deals have been concluded with a range of indigenous and international businesses. In addition, ConsultUCD, UCD’s managed consultancy service, also based at NovaUCD, has undertaken 220+ consultancy projects since it was established in 2017.

Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation said, “In 2003 UCD created a world-class, purpose-built facility based around one of its historic Georgian buildings, now known as NovaUCD. Twenty years on, NovaUCD, an example of sustainability in action, is still creating and supporting great UCD spin-out and spin-in companies, such as Aer Therapeutics, Go Eve, Equal1 and Manna, which have the potential to deliver significant societal and economic impact.”

Marina Donohoe, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland, said, “We welcome the publication of this report today which clearly demonstrates NovaUCD’s success and impact over the last 20 years. Enterprise Ireland has worked with and supported NovaUCD since its inception and I would like to congratulate the Centre and its companies on this significant milestone anniversary. We have recently committed to the next phase of development under our KT Boost programme and look forward to a continued and growing focus on spin-out companies and High Potential Start-Ups.”

Manna Drone Delivery, a NovaUCD graduate company now headquartered at NexusUCD, is one of the companies with significant expansion plans over the coming 2 years. The company currently employing 100 people has already concluded over 100,000 drone deliveries in locations across Ireland and plans to launch in multiple new locations in Ireland and in other European countries, in 2024. 

Tom Flanagan added, “Looking to the future there will be many opportunities for NovaUCD to build on its successes to date, in areas such as agrifood, space, cybersecurity, AI, edge computing, manufacturing, advanced diagnostics, novel therapeutics and sustainability, as we continue to make a real difference in the innovation landscape and ecosystem in Ireland and further afield.”

NovaUCD is currently working with CeADAR, Ireland’s National Centre for Applied AI, to launch a new AI accelerator programme, with funding from the European Digital Innovation Hubs, and is developing a new 5G Edge accelerator programme in partnership with Dell, Ericsson and Vodafone.

President Feely concluded, “NovaUCD was originally funded through a unique public-private partnership and I would like to take this opportunity of sincerely thanking AIB, AMD, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, and Goodbody for their unwavering support and guidance since 2003. In addition, we are very appreciative of the ongoing support provided to NovaUCD by Enterprise Ireland especially through the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative and KT Boost programmes.”

 Source: NovaUCD