Brain injury detection device for newborns wins Student Entrepreneur Awards 2020

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Supported by the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation

Friday 12th June 2020: A medical device for the early detection and monitoring of brain injuries in newborns has scooped the top prize at Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards 2020. Neurobell, developed by University College Cork (UCC) student, Mark O’Sullivan, aims to help clinicians diagnose abnormal brain activity faster and with greater accuracy.

Mark was one of ten finalists who participated in the virtual final of the third level Student Entrepreneur Awards today and received the €10,000 cash prize fund, as well as the opportunity to avail of specialist advice and assistance from Enterprise Ireland to help turn his innovative enterprise idea into a business reality.

This is the 39th year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices. Neurobell and three other finalists who received awards today share a €35,000 cash prize fund and €30,000 in mentoring support from Enterprise Ireland.

The Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award went to Siobhán Ryan, a student from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), for her project PressiDect. Siobhán received a prize of €5,000 for her peri-operative pressure detection system designed for use on a theatre table.

Simon Dring from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) took home the Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award for his device which aims to improve concussion awareness and player safety at all levels. His product the TraumAlert which allows for rapid detection of potential concussions, received €5,000 in cash prize funding.

The final Local Enterprise Office ICT award went to Limerick brothers, Nick and Jack Cotter, for their Cotter Agritech innovation. Their product the Cotter Crate is a patent-pending, lamb handling system that makes dosing and weighing lambs easier, faster, and prevents back injury.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: For the past four decades, student entrepreneurs in third level institutions across the country have been identifying challenges and the solutions to overcome them. Competitions like the Student Entrepreneur Awards act as an important springboard for tomorrow’s business leaders and provide a platform for young people to showcase their highly innovative business ideas. The high calibre of applications in today’s virtual final highlights the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit within Ireland’s universities and colleges across the country. I would like to congratulate the overall award winner Mark O’Sullivan of Neurobell and I look forward to seeing the progression of his medical device technology.”

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, said: “Over the years that I have been involved in the student enterprise initiative I have been very impressed by the students’ approach to real-world problems and how you use innovation to unlock answers and offer solutions. I congratulate everyone that made it to this year’s final and wish you the best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey.”

Richard Murphy, Manager LEO Support, Policy & Co-Ordination Unit, Enterprise Ireland said: “Today’s Student Entrepreneur Awards final recognised young innovators across the country and celebrated their entrepreneurial success. This year’s applicants have identified challenges across a range of sectors and provided innovative solutions to overcome them. Nurturing this talent and helping to foster that entrepreneurship is essential, not just to turn ideas into thriving businesses, but to help drive Ireland’s global reputation in business.”

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