ChirpComm wins NDRC Pre-Commercialisation Showcase

ChirpComm took top prize at the latest NDRC Pre-Commercialisation Programme, with the microchip team impressing the judges ahead of nine competitors.

• ChirpComm has created next-generation signal modulation chips

• This was the first Pre-Commercialisation Programme at NDRC to be run remotely

• 10 teams from research institutions and universities all over Ireland competed for the top prize

ChirpComm took top prize at the latest NDRC Pre-Commercialisation Programme, with the microchip team impressing the judges ahead of nine competitors.

ChirpComm provides smartphone manufacturers and mobile chipset vendors with next-generation signal modulation chips that are superior to, and compatible with, previous-generation wireless communication systems. The chipset, based on proprietary chirped orthogonal waveform technology, gives a four-fold improvement in network capacity over competing techniques, at the same cost.

NDRC operates pre-commercialisation programmes to identify and support promising researchers to explore, in a disciplined manner, a pathway to commercialising their research. Through a rigorous engineered process, participants are introduced to entrepreneurial tools and techniques, work collaboratively as part of a commercially-focused team, meet entrepreneurial role models and expand their networks over a five month period.

In the past three years, teams on the programme have raised more than €3 million in funding following their time at NDRC. The number of research institutions and universities involved has grown, too. It now includes institutions such as CONNECT; DCU; IPIC; Irish Manufacturing Research; LERO; Maynooth University; NUI Galway; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Trinity College; TSSG; University of Limerick; Waterford IT; TU Dublin; and UCD. Programme partners are Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

Helen Fullen, Pre Accelerator Leader at NDRC, said: “Congratulations to ChirpComm on the win today, a very exciting proposition to emerge from research with a significant global market opportunity. The quality of pre-commercialisation teams continues to improve each year. At NDRC we want to see more ideas like this, and to meet innovative researchers and scientists with a passion to change the world.”

“Delivering this programme remotely amid Covid-19 restrictions presented numerous new challenges and opportunities for both ourselves and the teams, however we feel the standard of finalists is evidence that the evolved approach has worked, and we look forward to incorporating these new learnings in the future.”

Kevin Burke from Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland supports the commercialisation of publicly funded research and this pre-commercialisation programme is well aligned with the range of commercialisation supports offered by Enterprise Ireland. The programme helps research scientists acquire new commercialisation skills so they can develop, test and validate their initial customer and product assumptions, with a view to applying for follow on Enterprise Ireland commercialisation funding. Our team of commercialisation specialists will continue to work closely with the participant teams to help them achieve their commercialisation ambitions.”

David McGovern from IPIC said: “We are very proud of ChirpComm and their accomplishment. As a founding SFI research centre in this pre-commercialisation training initiative, IPIC are delighted to have a number of teams on this programme, and excited to see where these, and all participants go from here.”

“The standard of ideas, technology and solutions visible today is very exciting and shows the good work done at all levels to help researchers and academics to branch out into various business opportunities throughout the country particularly in the area of Photonics. ChirpComm was the most exciting proposition but we saw enough great ideas to prove that this approach is working. Tyndall will continue to deepen our relationship with NDRC and are delighted to have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further our engagement going forward.”

The ten companies taking part in today’s pre-commercialisation programme showcase were:

ChirpComm ChirpComm provides smartphone manufacturers and mobile chipset vendors with next-generation signal modulation chips that are superior to, and compatible with, previous-generation wireless communication systems. The chipset, based on proprietary chirped orthogonal waveform technology, gives a four-fold improvement in network capacity over competing techniques, at the same cost.

DSRL DSRL’s structural health monitoring platform enables owners and managers of bridges, railways, pipelines, power systems and offshore infrastructure to take timely decisions about their assets. DSRL combines sensors, cutting-edge analytics and deep insights around each infrastructure to significantly extend their useful life and minimise operational and life risks.

FloDX FloDX is developing a handheld optical monitoring device. The device measures optical density (turbidity) and fluorescence of solution. This enables researchers to monitor cell growth and changes in the sample due to biochemical reactions. Unlike traditional spectrophotometers, FloDX can continuously monitor optical density and transmit the data wirelessly without any human intervention.

iSLight iSLight system is designed to automatically and non-destructively monitor the quality of the pharmaceutical coatings in a production line, using a well-established optical technique with cutting-edge illumination sources and machine learning algorithms.

LCP LCP is developing an online learning platform, utilising broker technology for collaboration between teachers, students and parents for high-quality home-schooling. LCP’s application aims to enable schools resource sharing, student progression monitoring, and school to home communication. This will reduce teacher workload and frustration and support parents in their home-schooling efforts.

MetHEALTH MetHEALTH is developing a biomarker-based platform that can detect multiple complications of obesity including heart disease and liver disease. MetHEALTH’s test measures all proteins attached to circulating high-density lipoprotein particles and collates this data into a risk-scoring algorithm. This risk-score will identify patients with obesity complications and guide personalised care-pathways.

Organic Proof Organic Proof helps agri-food companies to certify sustainability of their products. Their certification does not rely on lengthy processes, nor require substantial investment. To save time and money, they leverage existing agri-tech systems to provide verifiable evidence of environmental impact on-demand and in real-time.

Self-healing Asphalt Self-healing Asphalt is developing a unique technology that will be embedded within asphalt pavements, enabling them to ‘selfheal’ within the three-minutes it takes for an induction heating vehicle to pass. The technology will allow rapid and safe road repairs, resulting in cheaper, safer and longer lasting roads.

SensePower SensePower has developed a solution that improves the energy efficiency of IoT sensor deployments through the use of data analytics and machine learning. Unlike existing approaches that rely on custom-made adjustments or rules of thumb, SensePower technology learns and adapts to each deployment, performing better as the number of sensors increases.

RDex RDex is a technology to determine the extent of over provision, under provision or sufficient provision of a retail category in a settlement. The RPI will be presented through the development of an interactive platform which will primarily be targeted at retailers, but will also be of interest to bankers, investors and property developers.