Research at TSSG undertaken with Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers brings Waterford firm closer to launching hazardous waste disposal technology
Two entrepreneurial Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) graduates have driven forward their engineering consultancy by collaborating with researchers at their alma mater.
Founded in 2012, Waterford-based Aphex is the brainwave of co-founders and WIT graduates Waterford native Kevin Walsh (BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science graduate) and Kilkenny man Martin Malone (BSc (Hons) Computer Aided Manufacturing graduate). WIT’s Telecommunications, Software & Systems Group (TSSG) recently collaborated with the company on developing revolutionary software for safe disposal of chemical waste for the pharmaceutical industry.
Aphex co-founder Kevin Walsh who competed in and won the ‘Best Established Business’ category in the Waterford final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2016 competition has described the software as a game changer.
Walsh explains the importance of the solution Aphex is developing with TSSG. “The consequences of mixing incompatible waste can be devastating, resulting in loss of human life, disfigurement, reputational damage, financial repercussions. Aphex aims to automate the disposal of chemical waste in laboratories worldwide through utilizing an innovative software solution that will prevent users from mixing incompatible waste streams in the same container.”
“TSSG has been able to deliver substantial advances in the technology and its application, which is clearly valued by us here in Aphex,” he continues. “As well as the pharma industry laboratories of universities, schools, hospitals, medical device companies and research centres can benefit from our software solution.”
This collaboration combines TSSG’s globally recognised expertise in ICT with its Validation and Verification team lead by Catherine Cunniffe providing expertise and support in developing out their technology and the Data Mining & Social computing team lead by Eric Robson providing expertise in data mining and cloud computing.
Commenting on the partnership TSSG’s Verification & Validation Manager, Catherine Cunniffe said: “We are delighted to be working with Aphex who are a very focused, forward thinking company. Having worked with them through Enterprise Ireland’s innovation voucher we are now looking at extending this partnership by assisting them in securing an Innovation partnership through Enterprise Ireland.”
The innovation voucher system through Enterprise Ireland was used to develop a technology roadmap in collaboration with TSSG and has allowed Aphex to accelerate the design of the software. The company hopes to launch a minimum viable product in Q2 2017.
Aphex’s motivation is to deliver innovative software and people solutions to the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry where they adopt a cooperative approach to problem solving. Through their talent, backed by their experienced knowledge base they can provide clients with lean, innovative and compliant engineering solutions.
TSSG believes that truly great academic research should achieve marketplace commercialisation through practical application. TSSG’s mission is to leverage the excellence in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship of the entire organisation to deliver innovative research and commercial results for industry partners. Over the last three years TSSG has worked with over 110 industry partners on innovation projects. TSSG has been involved in creating 16 start-up companies based on its knowledge, skills and/or technology including FeedHenry Ltd. , ZolkC Ltd. and KodaCall.
About Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers
The Innovation Voucher initiative was developed to build links between Ireland's public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses.
Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider. Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, it supports sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.