UL a beacon of Research and Innovation for the Mid-West

23 June 2023

Dynamic and innovative research taking place at this university is having a key impact on the region as well as tackling the grand challenges that society is facing, write University of Limerick

University of Limerick’s mission is ‘Wisdom for Action’ – it is the university’s founding motto and central to the work of the institution.

In addition to teaching, research is at the heart of what UL does, with innovation and creativity key qualities in ensuring that UL’s research has an impact beyond the campus gates.

There is a multi-faceted approach within the university, based around the Technology Transfer Office, to ensure that its research can contribute to industry in the Mid-West region and further afield.

In 2022, UL research expenditure was €40.2 million, and the research activities of the university are characterised by strong levels of industry collaboration. Companies engage with UL through its institutes and research centres, including the Bernal Institute, Health Research Institute, LERO, SSPC, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre, and Dairy Processing Technology Centre.

UL appointed a dedicated business engagement manager for research and innovation last year to develop and expand research and innovation activities with industry.

Katrina Bradley brings over 25 years of experience working in industry and is the primary contact point for companies seeking to access the UL research base.

Katrina said: “UL has a wealth of resources that can be used by companies across the region who are looking for that ‘next big thing’ or for ways to maximise their business potential.”

“The success that UL has had in the past shows that we value and actively promote university-industry collaboration as we know that both will benefit from the research being carried out.”

Strong evidence of the impact of UL research is visible in the number of spin-out companies that have emerged from the university community.

These include Class Medical, a Limerick-based medical device company that spun out of UL in 2014 to commercialise UL research with the support of Enterprise Ireland. The company’s products are designed to prevent serious injuries that can occur during common hospital procedures.

Class Medical, which employs 11 people across in offices in Limerick and China, has won numerous awards for its products, including an Innovation of the Year Award 2022.

Other UL spin-outs include Ostoform , Hooke Bio, Farmhedge, SoloPep, Cala Medical, Transgero, Molecule, Cresent Diagnostics, ALR Innovations, Micananotech, and PolyPico.

UL also supports start-ups in the Mid-West region through the Nexus Innovation Centre. Nexus supports the development of new businesses and jobs by helping to accelerate start-up company development. Supports available for Nexus member start-up companies include mentoring, seminars, masterclasses, and workshops, as well as facilitated access to a network of researchers, business leaders, investors, and peers.

The centre has supported the development of over 100 companies who have raised more than €80m in investment and have supported more than 400 jobs.

Source: Limerick Post