Two UCD firms only Irish entrants shortlisted in 2020 IChemE Global Awards

  • Two University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out companies are the only Irish entrants to have been shortlisted for the 2020 IChemE Global Awards.

    AquaB (AquaB Nanobubble Innovations Ltd) and BioSimulytics are among the more than 120 worldwide entries, across 20 award categories.

    The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards celebrate chemical, process and biochemical engineering excellence, and are widely considered as the world’s most prestigious chemical-engineering awards.

    The winners of this year’s IChemE Global Awards will be announced in a series of webinars, showcasing the finalists, from 2 to 19 November.

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    AquaB has been shortlisted in the Water Award category, and was established earlier this year to commercialise a new energy-efficient method to generate and release substantial volumes of metastable, nano-scale gas bubbles in water.

    This method is based on research carried out by its co-founders, Prof Niall English and Dr Mohammad Reza Ghaani at UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.

    BioSimulytics has been shortlisted for the Business Start-Up Award and the Pharma Award.

    The firm is developing a software solution to quickly identify the correct crystal structure of a new drug.

    Its solution results in a 20-50% time saving on the current experimentation method, and only requires the basic 2D structure of a compound to accurately predict the detailed profiles of all its polymorphic forms, ranked by the most stable, with full certainty achieved within weeks.

    The company was founded by Prof Niall English again, and Dr Christian Burnham, alongside commercial lead, Peter Doyle. It is also a spin-out from the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.

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    Keith Batchelor, Chair of the IChemE Global Awards volunteer judging panel, said that “with the skillset and flexibility to adapt to challenges as they occur, during this pandemic we have seen the unwavering efforts of chemical engineers to continue innovating and maintain safe practices. Our judges felt it especially important to recognise these efforts this year, just in a virtual way."

    AquaB and BioSimulytics have been established with the support of NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at UCD where BioSimulytics is headquartered. BioSimulytics was the overall winner of the 2019 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, run by NovaUCD, and AquaB is taking part in this year’s programme, which commences later this month.

    Find out more about the Awards and the shortlisted finalists across all categories via

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