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It was a Good Year At

Sen. George Mitchell became US Patron for the NISP Trust

New Programme:

HRH Duke of York welcomed 1st major local donation to NISP Trust, from TG Eakin


 0 0 0 2,

£ 1 


>£1m contributed in Volunteer Hours & Member Fees for Under £180k Public Investment 2,000 event attendees

Highly experienced new team member: John Knapton, SPRINGBOARD Director

 474 Early stage ventures & wantrepreneurs engaged with NISP CONNECT Programmes

“The CONNECT programme has been successful in developing a supportive ecosystem to help companies develop in the technology and innovation sectors. This is important because hitherto the lack of a successful innovation system has been identified as one of the key constraints on the NI economy.”

An Evaluation of Year 3 of NISP CONNECT – by PwC, Jan 2014















Silicon roundabout and beyond: the best British tech startups

*Source: Knowledge Economy Index Report 2013 – independently produced by NICEP & Oxford Economics

Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy is growing faster than the UK*

Great news:

...and for Northern ireland

From Observer Tech publication feature:


We believe in…

The transformation of Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030 The vision, targets and blockers were crowdsourced at a conference involving 35 of Northern Ireland’s key knowledge economy stakeholders in February 2012

The NISP CONNECT model has finally clicked in recent months so now the challenge is to scale what we are doing. We know the plan. We need to concentrate on just one Critical Success Factor this year to be on track to achieve our vision: Funding!


Each year our Leadership Board identifies the 1-5 priority success factors that NISP CONNECT must address if we are to stay on track with achieving our vision.

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation


Critical Success Factors

we set some challenging success factors last year. So how did we perform?


Achieve private funding target agreed with DETI that will lead to the independence and sustainability of NISP CONNECT while ensuring the diversity of competence in its direction.

• Income targets for membership and sponsorship revenues achieved but we came in under target of raising £2M into the NISP Trust.

Develop and execute an advocacy strategy based on the findings of Knowledge Economy Index and stakeholder analysis so that critical public policy interventions are implemented when required.

• Successfully influenced the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s (DETI) Innovation Strategy to: - Adopt Knowledge Economy Index metrics as key indicators. - Increase key targets in the Innovation Strategy. - Prioritise the importance of culture as a ‘Key Blocker’. • Following the extensive advocacy efforts on risk capital in 2013, Steve Orr has been invited onto the steering group for DETI research into the Future of Venture Capital, Private Equity and Growth Finance in Northern Ireland.

Knowledge Economy Advocacy

• Steve Orr invited to represent Northern Ireland on the Tech City Clusters Alliance initiative hosted by Tech City CEO Joanna Shields, including meetings at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street.



SPRINGBOARD is the most valuable service a community can provide to its entrepreneurs given the diversity of competence and network that can be leveraged. SPRINGBOARD must be improved to become recognised as the elite programme for science and tech entrepreneurs in NI by March 2014.

• Hired experienced industry expert and venture capitalist John Knapton to lead the programme.

Create a buzz about Northern Ireland’s science and tech scene by telling the stories of the entrepreneurs and research rock stars in Northern Ireland achieving success and developing exciting products to key audiences at home and abroad.

• Launched TechWatch as a multimedia tech blog showcasing a hot NI sci-tech startup each week.

Achieve integration of key faculty and students into NISP CONNECT programmes annually.

• NISP CONNECT acknowledges that much more needs to be done to support Northern Ireland’s third level students and academics, and to provide value to their business outreach.

• Developed SPRINGBOARD as a key partner in the global SPRINGBOARD+ programme, integrating with its pool of mentors, domain experts and market experts.

• Created new social and digital media resources, including a dedicated full-time coordinator. • Achieved recognition for Belfast / NI as one of the Observer Tech Monthly’s eight prime UK tech regions.

University Integration


For NISP CONNECT it has always been about results not rhetoric so it is really exciting to see the progress made in Northern Ireland over the last twelve months. The news and statistics place NI as one of the hottest tech regions in the UK. We’re seeing continuing growth from our pool of science and technology companies creating products with global potential. I’m not known as someone who congratulates governments easily, but I have also been impressed with how the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has listened to our advocacy work on its Innovation Strategy for Northern Ireland, raising targets and adjusting priorities in response to our feedback. To the mentors, volunteers and collaborators who already commit their time and resources to make NISP CONNECT possible, thank you. My time as Chair of NISP CONNECT has genuinely been a joy. But a great start is just that. If we are to realise our vision we need to raise our game much further and scale what we do. We need more organisations to get involved and recognise their shared duty to support this cause.

Chris Horn Chair

You can feel a buzz in Northern Ireland now. There is a new confidence in the stride of our entrepreneurs as if they are finally realising how damn good they are. Most importantly you can see a culture of collaboration becoming pervasive throughout our innovation community. It is a privilege to provide a platform for our most experienced, successful and connected people to support the most promising. I am constantly amazed by the level of talent and generous participation that is given to helping our entrepreneurs become successful… preferably disgustingly successful. We have always had an experimental, iterative approach to developing our programmes in support of NI’s entrepreneurs. Recently, everything has really started to align. Now collaboration at scale is going to be the critical challenge if we are to realise our vision. We have been inviting local stakeholders to collaborate and offered our help in facilitation. The reaction so far has been very encouraging. The Northern Irish people have been changing the world for over 400 years. That is who we are and what our identity must become again. We create. We INVENT.

Steve Orr Director

We lead, we do not follow. Let’s make this happen, together.

We are Steve Orr Director

Trudy Parry Special Events & Programme Co-ordinator

Peter Edgar 25k Awards

Co-Founders Wanted! Frontiers in Science & Technology Innovation Founder AWARD

John Knapton SPRINGBOARD Director

Claire Burgoyne

Generation Innovation

Frameworks VC Forum NI Knowledge Economy Index

US–NI Mentorship Programme

Leadership Board  Chris Horn, NISP CONNECT

Gavin Campbell, Bombardier

Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell


Alec McRitchie, Bombardier

Chris Guy, Mills Selig

Norman Apsley, NISP

Alan Taylor, Arthur Cox

Scott Rutherford, QUB

Philip Maguire, NISP

Kevin Kingston, Danske Bank

Frank Bryan, QUBIS

Joel Ferguson, AFBI

Rory Clarke, Danske Bank

Tony Gallagher, QUB

Tim Brundle, Ulster Innovations

James Haughey, Norbrook Labs

Julie-Ann O’Hare, Bank of Ireland

Hugh McKenna, University of Ulster

Hugh Cormican, Cirdan Imaging

Alan Watts, Halo [7]



membership Together we can grow the knowledge economy. The following organisations are making a big contribution to the realisation of our 2030 Vision, by being members of NISP CONNECT.

Platinum £10k

GOLD £5k




K n a th ou yfrom us! AB

Our team mobilises an army of smart people to volunteer their time in delivering our programmes. Each programme is tailored to support a different stage in the entrepreneurial journey but they share one key activity: connecting the most

talented people with the most experienced.

incredible T has created an EC N N O C P IS N epreneur first, portunity to eds of the entr ide a unique op ne ov e pr th g ey in Th tt d. pu people in Irelan “Always l and business ps in Northern tu ca ni ar st ch te gy d lo ce no en ch owledge and group of experi resource for te a brilliant peer ny where this kn pa om fr m n co ar ur le yo d of collaborate an time in the life vironment at a en e tiv or pp su s. cces � a safe and ur chances of su yo e ov pr -in-Residence im ly ge Entrepreneur T EC N N guidance can hu O C P IS batech and a N Founder of Ban , m ha ng ni un Ronan C


Pro gram mes



Tough Love for Startups John Knapton, SPRINGBOARD Director John Knapton has assumed the role of SPRINGBOARD Director as of April 2014, taking responsibility for making SPRINGBOARD the flagship programme in Northern Ireland, for the commercialisation of innovation. At the end of March, John spent a week in San Diego working with the founders of CONNECT, in order to maximise the value provided by the programme in Northern Ireland. John has already made some significant changes to the process to maximise both throughput and quality of participants, and to deliver on the “6.5 times more likely to succeed” established programme outcome metric. The number of EiRs supporting the programme has also increased from 23 last year to a current total of 30, with further substantial expansion planned. The number of new applicants in the last two months demonstrates a very positive outlook.


10 

10 companies graduated from SPRINGBOARD this year, a further increase on the previous year. It is worth reviewing progress to date since the start of the programme 2½ years ago:

ies n a p com uateD Grad

23 graduates to date

 

85 applications

15 in process

 >70

 >£4M


new jobs directly created

 >400

jobs supported* *Including multiplier effect

revised programme’s USPs have been identified as follows: 1. Proven to deliver internationally over 20 years.

2. Content specifically tailored to address identified “gaps” within each applicant company.

3. Expeditious, in-business format minimises disruption.

4. Network of global resources available on demand through SPRINGBOARD+.

5. Develops sound commercialisation strategy and tactics.

6. Diversity of competency (EiRs, experts).

7. Follow-on “Capital Competition” nurtures funding of working capital.

8. Provides real “investor-ready” companies.

9. 6.5x reduction of go-to-market risk.

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation

board SPRINGBOARD also held its first Panel outside Belfast when Sensum presented to a Panel at Tech City in London in December. Together with a select number of international CONNECT programme managers, CONNECT San Diego is constructing SPRINGBOARD+, a global implementation of SPRINGBOARD that will leverage resources around the world, to the benefit of SPRINGBOARD participants. NISP CONNECT has been recognised as the English speaking, European beachhead for US companies looking to establish a European presence and an integral part of establishing SB+. This initiative will also provide tremendous breadth of experience to Northern Ireland companies seeking a share of the global market. John Knapton, SPRINGBOARD Director

Welcome to the team! John is a Chartered Director Ambassador and qualified executive coach, with over 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing and international business development, within the technology sector. His experience ranges from launching startups to managing growth within multi-national conglomerates. He has worked at board level with industry leaders and developed an international network, having lived, worked and travelled globally.

Having been on ECT stands for. N N O C ng hi yt lm in ever the flagship of RINGBOARD he ns SP ai e m th re ok D to R A on O SPRINGB home to , Meagan Blant rly days in 2011 she moved back ea n r he ou w e r te nc si la s onth the team rewell a few m e had to say fa w y dl sa t bu 2013 ways in touch. ts but she is al lo r he s is m e California. W on Meagan Blant



Congratulations, SPRINGBOARD Graduates of 2013-14

Springboard 

some of This Year’s Graduates Amelio Catherine O’Neil EiR: Ronan Cunningham

Novel engineered drainage solution.

Tablet-based maths tutor.

Wave energy generation.

Web-based creative media for music videos.

Sensum Gawain Morrison EiR: Ronan Cunningham, Stephen Houston

Andrew Walmsley, EiR Representative

Tom Griffiths, EiR Representative

Jennifer Ferguson, Arthur Cox Kerry McCorkell, Tughans

Rotor Diarmuid Moloney EiR: Eoin Lambkin

 Alan Watts, Halo

Caroline McGoran, University of Ulster

Pure Marine Paul Brewster EiR: Andrew Walmsley

STEERING TEAM Des Speed, EiR Representative

Komodo Gerard McBreen EiR: Les Curran

Chris Guy, Mills Selig Dawn McKnight, Carson McDowell Ian Beatty, Danske Bank

Advertising analytics.

Aaron Stewart, PwC

mpanies. Its Springboard e establish or for young co at lit ci fa helped m t ea gr T is a strategy and it ss ne si bu “NISP CONNEC ng . I can say p a stro stor community SiSaf to develo ve ed in lp d he an e ss m ne m si progra is today.” ern Ireland’s bu not be where it ts within North ld ac ou nt w co f t Sa an Si rt T impo t NISP CONNEC tion that withou ta si he t ou ith w f der & CEO, SiSa e-Siebert, Foun ffi Sa e nn za Su

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation



Steering Team  Brian Baird, Chairman Andrew Woods, Catagen Co-Founders Wanted! provides evening events every few months, each for a different industry sector. A handpicked audience of 55 potential co-founders saw pitches from founders of 21 new companies before mixing over beer and pizzas. Co-Founders Wanted! has developed into an essential component of a founder’s journey. One of the big challenges for startups is gathering the right team to build and launch a product, and Co-Founders Wanted! helps establish connections for founders. Over the year two founders were able to recruit teams through the programme.

Kathryn Walls, Mills Selig Stephen O’Kane, PwC Jason Johnston, Carson McDowell Michael Robinson, AFBI Karla Dooey, Arthur Cox Gabrielle McArdle, Bank of Ireland John Macrae, University of Ulster Vincent Farrelly, QUB

Sectors Covered:


Co-Founders Wanted! exists to help early-stage companies build strong founding teams. A big push is needed for more potential Co-Founders!


25k Aw


The Search for the Nex BIG Thing In 2013, innovation’s biggest night was even bigger than ever, with over 500 attendees at the 25k Awards in Titanic Belfast. This celebration of tech entrepreneurship was the end of several months of competition from dozens of new product companies submitted by our FE institutions. In early 2014, following continuous growth and success, the 25k Awards was fully upgraded and reborn as:

Official sponsor

The new INVENT has a wider remit, now accepting applicants from outside the academic institutions, as well as greater prizes and advanced support for applicants. More at:


e n n i w

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation


h 2013 xt £25rall ove r

Top Ten Finalists

wards k

“We were delighted to be the overall winners of the 2013 NISP CONNECT 25K Award, as this has really acted as a catalyst for the development of our company, ProAxsis. The resultant PR has enabled us to attract additional and substantive external investment, which will ensure company growth”. Dr Lorraine Martin, Founder of ProAxsis and Senior Lecturer in Molecular Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast


Official sponsor

-ProAxsis Queen’s University Belfast

ProAxsis has created tests that would enable routine monitoring of patients with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, either within the clinic or at home. ProAxsis developed small molecule, peptidebased inhibitors (Protease-Tags) that serve both as a means to trap active proteases and to provide a visual readout of their presence in biological samples, with applications to protease biomarker identification.

Category Winner -Eye-C-3D University of Ulster High resolution camera designed to picture the back of the eye in three dimensions, to deliver cost-effective imaging and telemedicine for eye disease.

-Xpress LF Queen’s University Belfast Producing a tyre pressure monitoring system that uses a smartphone as an activation tool in response to European legislative changes requiring all cars to be installed with TPMS.

-Nite Rider University of Ulster Accessory to enable motorcyclists to see further at night, with the aim of reducing the number of individuals killed or seriously injured on our roads.


25k Aw


Bio Tech


Clean Tech


Category Winner + OVERALL WINNER -ProAxsis

Category Winner -AdFerTech

Queen’s University Belfast Developing a range of novel diagnostic tests that will enable routine monitoring of patients with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, either within the clinic or at home.

Queen’s University Belfast Low cost, bolt-on device for anaerobic digestion plants whereby nutrients contained within the waste are concentrated and processed to form organic granular fertiliser.

-Jenarron Therapeutics


University of Ulster Novel hydrogel drug delivery product that, when applied to an open wound or laceration, results in painless suturing with improved clinical outcomes and a superior patient experience.

Queen’s University Belfast Several patented inks that change colour rapidly when deposited onto a self-cleaning surface using, say, a marker pen. These are ideal for marketing and quality control of self-cleaning materials.

-Digitease University of Ulster Rheumatoid arthritis care and treatment for the hand through an intelligent wearable data glove system that quantifies finger joint stiffness and range of movement.

digital media & software Category WinneR -Liopa Queen’s University Belfast Bringing a novel mobile biometric speaker verification solution to market that can verify user identity by analysing their viseme profile, a unique biometric characteristic that can help prevent theft and identity fraud.



-Columbus Queen’s University Belfast Real-time personal travel assistant that provides public transport users with dynamic, up-to-the-minute information about their travel plans using powerful new mathematics and network analysis.


Previous Winners

 Ronan Cunningham, Banbatech

2012 – MOF Technologies

Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell

2010 – LenisAer

Neil Buchanan, Flish

2009 – Tactility Factory

Paul Donachy, QUB

2008 – Affyon Networks (Titan IC Systems)

Jennifer Cook, University of Ulster

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation

2013 Top TWELVE Finalists

wards 2011 – Flish

2007 – SOPHIA

Kathryn Walls, Mills Selig Adrian O’Connell, Tughans David Brownlee, HSC Michael Robinson, AFBI Lynsey Mallon, Arthur Cox Niamh Griffin, Bank of Ireland

. It really ding experience ar w re d an g an exhilaratin e winning the k Awards to be technology. Sinc r ou r fo t ke We found the 25 ar gress d the m obile World Con our offering an M on at s a cu op fo Li d us se helped gory we showca ital Media cate ig D d ment an e ar w en Soft mercial gage m co st fir r ou orking on anager, CSIT and are now w l Marketing M ca ni ch Te d an Liopa Co-Founder of David Crozier,



Frameworks STEERING TEAM  Adrian O’Connell, Tughans Henry Cleary, Bank of Ireland David Croft, Danske Bank Chris Guy, Mills Selig

The Frameworks education series was as popular as ever. The programme provides free morning seminars for entrepreneurs and “wantrepreneurs” to learn business practice and hear war stories directly from the veterans. We will be bringing Frameworks on tour throughout NI in the coming year. 289 attendees at 16 Frameworks Events

Lynsey Mallon, Arthur Cox David Moore, QUBIS Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell




s e e d n e att

Our members told us that not enough was being done to tell the world about the exciting new products being developed in Northern Ireland. To answer this challenge we launched TechWatch, a new online channel that provides a showcase of our hottest ventures and the entrepreneurs behind them. Since launch in September 2013, 22 companies were profiled in the first few months of TechWatch, which received over 35,000 hits online.

US-NI Mentorship (Affiliate programme)

The programme continues well, with NISP CONNECT as a programme delivery partner alongside The American Ireland Funds. NISP CONNECT’s contribution is largely via the volunteer efforts of Joanne Stuart (Attrus). Participating companies include: Bank of America, Coca-Cola, KPMG, NYeC, Teneo, CIBC, HBO, Moet Hennessy, PwC, and UBS.

Steering Team  Joanne Stuart, Attrus Founded by the Office of Declan Kelly Supported by the American Ireland Fund

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation

Frameworks Calendar of Events 2013/2014 Topic


Main Speaker


The VC Process

Stephen Houston, Sophia Drew O’Sullivan, InterTradeIreland

Alastair Keith & Ivan Waide, A&L Goodbody



Gary Hamilton, Omiino Aidan Langan, Enterprise Equity

Lynsey Mallon, Arthur Cox



Matthew Forde, Forde Campbell Oliver Lennon, SpeechStorm Danny McCaughan, Kernel Capital

Rory Campbell, Forde Campbell


Art of the Term Sheet

Des Speed, PathXL Danny McCaughan, Kernel Capital

Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell



Alan Watts, Halo Chris McClelland, Brewbot

Luke Lang, CrowdCube


Entrepreneur + Equity = Growth

Michael Black, Intel Gawain Morrison, Sensum

Alan Watts, Halo


Stock Options

Bob McGowan-Smyth, Crescent Capital David Patterson, Sophia

Colin Piggott, PwC


IP: Tactics for Startups

Cherrie Stewart & Marie Walsh, Ansons

Cherrie Stewart & Marie Walsh, Ansons


Entrepreneur + Equity = Growth (CIDO)

Michael Black, Intel Danny Turley, Performa Sports

Alan Watts, Halo


Selling Abroad

Jonny McClintock, CSR Brian Cummings, Enterprise Equity

Henry Cleary, Bank of Ireland


SBRI masterclass (UU, Magee campus)

Lorraine Acheson, Acheson Consulting Ronan Cunningham, Banbatech

Pat Doyle, Invest NI


Strategic Alliances

Jim Shields Robert Grundy, Almac

Adrian O’Connell, Tughans


SBRI masterclass

Lorraine Acheson, Acheson Consulting Ronan Cunningham, Banbatech

Pat Doyle, Invest NI


How to Get Value from the Bank

Aidan Langan, Enterprise Equity Jeff Wylie, KANA

Niall Harkin, Danske Bank


The New Startup Model (partnered with CSIT for World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit)

Alex Van Someren, Amadeus Ventures Zach Tudor, SRI International Elisabetta Zaccaria Danny McCaughan, Kernel Capital

Jon Bradford, TechStars 14

The Greatest Problems waiting for Entrepreneurs to Solve (partnered with CSIT for World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit)

Martin Borrett, IBM Jon Bradford, TechStars

Andrew Tyrer, Technology Strategy Board




Steering Team


 Vicky Dummigan, Tughans Bob McGowan-Smyth, Crescent Capital Brian McKimm, KPMG

VC Forum was created to build relationships with institutional venture capital investors outside of Northern Ireland and, together with local venture capitalists, showcase Northern Irish companies looking to raise A, B or C rounds of investment of between £500K and £5M. With a dealflow pipeline of predominantly seed-stage companies in Northern Ireland, it was decided to “park” the VC Forum programme until the pipeline of companies in NI matures further. NISP CONNECT still facilitates bespoke visits of venture capital investors in Northern Ireland on an as-and-when basis.

Caroline McGoran, University of Ulster Chris Guy, Mills Selig Denis Murphy, Anaeko Drew O'Sullivan, InterTradeIreland Frank Bryan, Queen’s University Belfast Ian Beatty, Danske Bank Jennifer Ferguson, Arthur Cox Mark Cunningham, Bank of Ireland Neasa Quigley, Carson Mcdowell

Frontiers in Science & Technology The Frontiers in Science & Technology lunchtime lectures series entered its second year in 2013-14. Each event saw one of NI’s three primary further education institutions put forward a speaker to present on groundbreaking, world-class research. The quality and significance of the content allowed us to draw a first-rate influential audience of business leaders, academics and public servants. We created Frontiers to answer a need for greater promotion of our best research, and the star researchers leading it. With recent expansions of some of the universities’ activities in this area, the programme has now been adapted to focus on the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute.

Steering Team

Enterprise Forum

 Paschal McCloskey, Queen’s University Belfast

lunchtime lectureS Smart Vaccines: Revolutionising Drug Delivery in Animal Health Dr Michael Welsh, Head of the Virology Branch and Fish Disease Unit of the Veterinary Sciences Division at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute 3D Composite Weaving: Creating Fabrics and Shapes Stronger than Metal, Lighter than Gossamer Axis Composites, a University of Ulster spin-out iGrass 2.0 (high-strength polymer composites made from plant material) Prof Shekhar Sharma, Head of the Plant Health and Environmental Protection Branch at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute

John MacRae, University of Ulster Margaret Patterson, AFBI David Lyness, Carson McDowell

This event series educates entrepreneurs in an informative and entertaining environment in front of a diverse audience of Northern Ireland’s business leaders and technologists, as well as capital and service providers. Enterprise Forum provides access to world-class market intelligence and a distinctive perspective on today’s most challenging business issues facing startups, by producing forums and case study presentations featuring Northern Ireland’s most exciting, emerging growth technology companies. Enterprise Forum creates an opportunity for science and technology sector leaders across all industries to connect in a relaxed and inspiring setting.

Steering Team

Eddie Friel, University of Ulster

 Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell

Richard Fulton, Mills Selig

Neil Hendron, Arthur Cox Kathryn Walls, Mills Selig Niall Devlin, Bank of Ireland

Special Events IBM SmartCamp Programme Launch Intelligent Energy Systems NISP CONNECT Stakeholder Lunch Media Tech Cluster Forum Andy Hopper VIP Visit Open Data Institute & National Archives Discussion on Open Data

Official sponsor

NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation

Innovation Founder of the Year


The Innovation Founder of the Year Award goes to a company founder in Northern Ireland who has made an exceptional impact on the world. We want to recognise these heroes of innovation. The 2013-14 Innovation Founder of the Year Award Winner is

Peter Fitzgerald Managing Director of Randox Laboratories Ltd, one of the fastest growing diagnostic companies in the world. Dr FitzGerald was working in the research department of Queen’s University Belfast when his passion for science and his observation of the ‘brain drain’ of young talented scientists prompted him to set up a local manufacturing facility for diagnostic products. Starting in 1982 with six people, including three family members, he has grown the business to employ over 1,200 staff across headquarters in Northern Ireland and in Randox offices distributed worldwide. The focus has been on the development of better, more sensitive tests for existing diagnostic parameters, and keeping abreast of new trends and developments by devoting 30% of the company’s revenue to research.



Tom Eakin


Dr Hugh Cormican


Prof John Anderson

Each year the previous honourees review nominations and select the ‘Innovation Founder’ recognising a person who has achieved distinction in founding, leading or building a Northern Irish life sciences or technology-based business and has contributed to our region to build and shape our local economy and significantly improve our quality of life. [21]


NI Knowledge Economy Index It’s not enough to have a shared vision for the transformation of Northern Ireland’s economy by 2030. We need to set specific targets and we need to know how well the region is performing each year. We worked with leading research consultancies and over 170 local stakeholders to achieve this. The result is the NI Knowledge Economy Index (“KEI”).

Steering Team  Scott Rutherford Queen’s University Belfast Tim Brundle, University of Ulster

The annual KEI Report tracks the health of the Northern Ireland innovation economy by comparing data year-on-year and against other regions, and monitoring availability of capital. The data helps policymakers and trade organisations plan and advocate effectively for sufficient workforce housing, transportation solutions, zoning and availability of resources. The Report also serves as a recruiting and retention tool, demonstrating to research, leadership and management talent from around the world that Northern Ireland is a leading centre for innovation. And guess what this year’s said? Things are better than we thought they were!

Richard Fulton (Mills Selig) Alan Bissett, Arthur Cox Gillian Breakey, Bank of Ireland Michael McCormack, BT Norman Apsley, Northern Ireland

Knowledge Economy Index TargetS

Science Park

2030 Aspirational trajectory

£730M £34M £600M








£1.05 Billion Total Spend on R&D £90 Million VEnture Capital invested annually

2,940 260

71,250 Science & Technology Grads 71,250 Knowledge Economy Total Employees 7,000 Innovation businesses 500 new innovation startup companies required annually

Baseline 2009 membership

Most Recent Data 2011



Aspirational Trajectory



NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation

Generation If we are to develop a thriving economy as a legacy for future generations, we need to help build our future leaders today. Generation Innovation seeks a yearly intake of the region’s 16-17 year-olds with the highest potential in the new economy. Each year’s new batch is welcomed at a major evening event, where we aim to inspire them with a big headline star from the tech world. This year was a real coup. Tyrone-born Sarah Friar, CFO of Square, was livestreamed from California in front of 120 Generation Innovation alumni. She was joined by a surprise guest, her boss Jack Dorsey – co-founder of Twitter and Square.

Steering Team  Lynsey Mallon, Arthur Cox

Generation Innovation alumni are becoming an integral part of the NISP CONNECT community, regularly attending our events and contributing to the development of our future direction. Vital to the success of the programme are the dozens of schools who nominate and support their students each year – thank you one and all! Also each year we ask a leading NI production company to take the baton and create a video that helps to inspire people to the Generation Innovation cause. This year Flickerpix & Waddell Media generously contributed.

Bill Connor, Sentinus Liguori Dobbin, Bank of Ireland Carol Fitzsimons, YENI Tony Gallagher, QUB Michael Ievers, Stranmillis University College John McGuckian, Tughans Rebekah Nevin, Carson McDowell Joanne Stuart, Attrus Kathryn Walls, Mills Selig

Supported by:


A Huge Th



Alan Watts, Halo Ann McGregor, NI Chamber of Commerce Bill Connor, Sentinus Brendan McGoran, Belfast City Council Brian Hunter, CIDO Bryan Keating, MATRIX Carol Fitzsimons, Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Caroline McGoran, University of Ulster Ciaran McGarrity, DETI Ciaran Sheehan, Clarendon Executive Denise Murtagh, Queen’s University Belfast Derek Hanway, Schools Employers Connections Eoin McFadden, DETI Grainne McVeigh, Northern Irish Connections Grainne Lennon, InterTradeIreland Ian Jeffers, Prince’s Trust Ivor Gibson, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust Jayne Brady, Kernel Capital John Miller, Invest NI John Andy Bonar, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) Jonathan Wallace, University of Ulster Karen Orme, South Eastern Regional College Kirsty McManus, CBI Leslie Orr, ADS Linda Brown, IOD Liz Conlon, Institute of Physics Ireland Mark Nagurski, CultureTECH Mary Trainor-Nagele, Arts & Business NI


Mary Walshok, San Diego CONNECT Michael Bell, N. I Food & Drink Association Michael Noble, Momentum NI Nicholas O’Shiel, Omagh Enterprise Company Ltd Nigel Smyth, CBI Pat Doyle, Invest NI Patsy Donaghy, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) Paul Clancy, Halo Paul Beaney, University of Ulster Peter Donnelly, BioBusiness NI Richard Williams, Northern Ireland Screen Rob McConnell, SQS Roger Pollen, Federation of Small Business Roseann Kelly, Women in Business NI Scott King, NIACE Sheree Atcheson, Women Who Code Belfast Shirley McCay, Belfast City Council Sinead McLaughlin, The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce Stephen Wray, Queen’s University Belfast

Featured on TechWatch

Write to Read Vaccine Tabs Sixty-5 Beacon Phlok See.Sense. Briefed Get Together InkIntelligent Anaeko Rotor Patchblocks Lewis Fertility Tactility Factory Sian’s Plan Sophia Commander Securities

SiSaf GoReport Performa Sports Proofpoint Essentials Taggled Analytics Engines Learning Pool Sensum Microsense MOF Technologies Komodo DisplayNote Titan IC Systems

SPRINGBOARD Entrepreneurs-inResidence (EiRs)*

Andrew Walmsley, Director, Easons Sinclair Stockman, CIO, BT Des Speed, CEO, Lagan Technologies Denis Murphy, CEO, Anaeko JG Doherty, CEO, Amphion Les Curran, CEO, Kelsius Dick Milliken, CFO, Almac Michael O’Neill, COO, First Derivatives Gareth Dunlop, CEO, Tibus Steven Gunning, CEO, Tomcat Roger Johnson, VP, BD Meridio Alan Watts, Founder, Yelo Jude Lynch, COO, O2 Ireland Clare Passmore, CTO, Galen Brian Baird, CEO, Meridio Brendan Colgan, CEO, ESAB Karl Mulligan, VP, Almac Diagnostics Michael Black, MD BCO CFO, Blue Chip Paula Glossop, CEO, Sentry IT Darren Craig, CEO, IVM Europe Michael Keltai, MD, Nokia Networks, Brazil Eoin Lambkin, Owner, Groupe-Intellex

Ronan Cunningham, Founder, Banbatech Aislinn Rice, Sales Director, Andor Technology Stuart Harvey, Founder, Harco Technology

Domain Experts Investment/Funding Neil Simms, Clarendon Fund Managers Danny McCaughan, Kernel Capital David McCurley, WhiteRock Capital Colin Walsh, Crescent Capital Deirdre Terrins, Crescent Capital Boyd Carson, Sapphire Capital Partners Bob McGowan-Smyth, Crescent Capital Caroline McGoran, University of Ulster Vicky Dummingan, Tughans Hal Wilson, Fastnet Ventures Alan Watts, Halo Simon McMullen, KPMG Product Development Roberto Fagnani, Biotechnology Business Solutions Moira Burke, Burke Business Solutions Ltd Joseph Donoghue, Leardon Solutions Tim Harrison, Almac Discovery Paul Millar, Horizon Two Six Ltd Aubrey Sayers, Altos Solutions Corporate Finance Paul Currid, Keenan Corporate Finance Craig Holmes, Horwood & Holmes Corporate Finance Angela Reavey, Capaxo Ltd Gary Shannon, BDO Paul Hollway, KPMG

Graham Stewart, PwC Keith Jess, Ernst & Young Noel Culbert, PwC Alan Taylor, Arthur Cox Richard Graham, RG & Co Legal & Regulatory Dawn McKnight, Carson McDowell Lynsey Mallon, Arthur Cox Neasa Quigley, Carson McDowell Kathryn Walls, Mills Selig Chris Guy, Mills Selig Kerry McCorkell, Tughans Marie Walsh, Ansons Bob Beckham, Beckhams IP (Defence) Alan Bissett, Arthur Cox (Cleantech & Renewables) John McGuckian, Tughans Marketing Norbert Sagnard, Sagnard Associates Barry Hagan, Barry Hagan Associates Teresa O’Loughlin, think6 Paul Harding, Meltem Export Siobhan Gallagher, Shout! Stephen Jemphrey, J I Consulting Julie Taylor, Integrity NI

Generation Innovation: Attending Tech Founders Aaron Taylor, Co-founder & CEO, GoPrezzo Brian Baird, Director, Replify Clare Passmore, Founder, Attune Womenswear David Patterson, CEO, Sophia

*Job titles are often previous positions held, as many EiRs are giving back to the community after leaving prominent jobs

hanks To Denis Murphy, CEO, Anaeko Diarmuid Moloney, Founder, Rotor Gareth Dunlop, CEO, Fathom Gawain Morrison, CEO & Co-founder, Sensum Gerard McBreen, Co-founder, Komodomath. com Greg Maguire, Co-founder & CEO, Inlifesize Hugh Cormican, CEO, Cirdan Imaging Ian Scott, Founder, Taggled Jonny Campbell, Creative Lead, Brewbot Kevin Logue, Managing Director, Uproar Comics Kevin McGrath, Co-founder, Beacon Kyle Gawley, CEO, Get Invited Lorraine Martin, CEO, ProAxsis Luke McNeice, Technical consultant, Kainos Mal Duffin, Owner, CanDo 3D Mary McCall, Founder & MD, Treat Ticket Oliver Lennon, CEO, Speech Storm Patricia O’Hagan, CEO, Core Systems Paul Brewster, CTO, Pure Marine Ronan Cunningham, Founder, Banbatech Rory O’Connor, Director, The Creativity Hub Ruth Morrow, Co-founder, Tactility Factory Sebastian Heinz, Mindflood Sheena Lewis, CEO, Lewis Fertility Testing Steve Brankin, CEO, Asidua Stevie Morrow, CEO, WorldDesk Tom Griffiths, Founder, The Acorn Incubator

Trish Belford, Co-founder, Tactility Factory Vincent Breslin, Co-founder, Siansplan William Barr, Director, Billygoat Entertainment

Participating Schools

Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School, Belfast Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch Antrim Grammar School Ballyclare High School Ballyclare Secondary School Ballymena Academy Banbridge Academy Bangor Academy Belfast High School Belfast Model School For Girls Belfast Royal Academy Brownlow Integrated College, Craigavon Cambridge House Grammar School, Ballymena Campbell College, Belfast Christian Brothers Grammar School, Omagh Coleraine High School Collegiate Grammar School, Enniskillen Crumlin Integrated College Dalriada School, Ballymoney De La Salle College, Belfast De La Salle High School, Downpatrick Dominican College, Belfast Down High School, Downpatrick Edmund Rice College, Newtownabbey Fort Hill College, Lisburn Friends’ School, Lisburn Glenlola Collegiate School, Bangor Grosvenor Grammar School, Belfast Hazelwood Integrated College, Newtownabbey

Hunterhouse College, Belfast Lagan College, Belfast Larne Grammar School Laurelhill Community College, Lisburn Limavady Grammar School Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon Lisneal College, Derry~Londonderry Malone Integrated College, Belfast Markethill High School Methodist College, Belfast Mount Lourdes Grammar School, Enniskillen New-Bridge Integrated College, Banbridge Newtownbreda High School, Belfast Northern Regional College Omagh Academy Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry Portadown College Portora Royal School, Enniskillen Rainey Endowed School, Magherafelt Rathmore Grammar School, Belfast Regent House School, Newtownards Sacred Heart College, Omagh St Brigid’s College, Derry~Londonderry St Catherine’s College, Armagh St Cecilia’s College, Derry~Londonderry St Colman’s High School, Ballynahinch St Columb’s College, Derry~Londonderry St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen St Killian’s College, Ballymena St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena

St Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel St Malachy’s College, Belfast St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School, Belfast St Mary’s High School, Lurgan St Mary’s High School, Limavady St Patrick’s Bilateral, CoEd College, Maghera St Patrick’s High School, Keady St Patrick’s High School, Lisburn St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook Shimna Integrated College, Newcastle South Eastern Regional College Sperrin Integrated College, Magherafelt Strathearn School, Belfast Sullivan Upper School, Holywood The Royal Belfast Academical Institution The Royal School, Armagh Thornhill College, Derry~Londonderry Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus Victoria College, Belfast Wallace High School, Lisburn Wellington College, Belfast

25k Awards Mentors

Aisleen Rice Eoin Lambkin Julie Taylor Chris Lomas Norman Apsley Andrew Walmsley Brendan Mooney Jude Lynch Michael Keltai Aidan Langan Ian McCann Stephen Simpson Tristan Brittain Dissont Colin Walsh Brian Cummings

Ann-Marie Slavin Gary Hamilton Hal Wilson

Judging Panel  Bryan Keating, MATRIX Ciaran McGivern, Bank of Ireland Caolan Small, Dow Jonathan White, Ansons Daniel Crowley, VC Jim McIlroy, Actavis Michael Crossey, Intel

Enterprise Forum Panellists

Rory Caren, IBM Andy Hopper, Prof of Computer Technology & Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory Mervyn Middleby, BBC Northern Ireland Mark Taylor, BBC Northern Ireland Shane Fitzpatrick, BBC Richard Stirling, Open Data Institute Carol Tullo, The National Archives Eoin McFadden, DETI Stephen Sloan, Momentum NI Ben Greene, SAP

Innovation Founder of the Year Judging Panel

Ciaran McGivern, Bank of Ireland Dr Hugh Cormican, Innovation Founder of the Year 2011/12 Tom Eakin, Innovation Founder of the Year 2012/13 Norman Apsley, NISP



In order to support the region’s economic development more fully, we are driving towards financial independence. This will allow us greater freedom of action and voice, and more alignment with the private sector entrepreneurs we strive to serve. The recently established NISP Trust is a platform for philanthropic support to aid Northern Ireland’s growth into a thriving knowledge economy.


Some of the fantastic private sector entrepreneurs we strive to serve. Photo corteousy of: Suki Dhanda // // Observer Tech Monthly

















Grant (DETI)




Total Income








Programme costs




Other costs








Total Costs




Surplus / Deficit




NISPCONNECT Annual Report 2013/14 Catalysing Innovation


NISP CONNECT Income & Expenditure for three years to year ending 31/03/14 (all figures in ÂŁ)

winning... Belfast WAS RECENTLY featured in The Observer as a leading UK startup city, with NISP cited as a key asset. WANT TO KNOW MORE? +44 (0) 28 9073 7800

@nispconnect [27]

Enquiries to: Trudy Parry

Special Events and Programme Co-ordinator, NISP CONNECT +44 (0) 28 9073 7800 The Innovation Centre Northern Ireland Science Park Queen’s Road Queen’s Island Belfast BT3 9DT More at:

NISP CONNECT is an independent, non-profit organisation that supports the development of innovative technologies and early-stage companies through a series of educational seminars, mentorship programmes, capital competitions, and public policy advocacy. The programmes are driven by the findings of the Northern Ireland Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) and are guided by the pro bono contributions of experienced entrepreneurs and executives. NISP CONNECT accelerates the growth of knowledgebased companies by acting as an honest, neutral broker and aims to catalyse the commercialisation of world-class research and intellectual property. A joint effort between Northern Ireland’s academic research base, the University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, and Northern Ireland’s private sector, the CONNECT programmes are designed to facilitate a culture of collaboration between the region’s highest quality science and technology entrepreneurs, research institutions, professional services providers and investors.

Based at:

@nispconnect +44 (0) 28 9073 7800

NISP CONNECT is proudly part-funded by the European Regional Development fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007-2013

European Union

European Regional Development Fund Investing in your future

NISP CONNECT Annual Report 2013-2014  
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