A team from Trinity and Queen’s won first prize in the annual competition for postgraduates organized by Enterprise Ireland.
Students who developed a wearable haptic device to help people feel the energy of sports matches received the top prize at this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Field of Vision was created by Tim Farrelly and David Deneher, students of Trinity College Dublin, as well as Omar Salem of Queen’s University, Belfast.
The device aims to enable blind or visually impaired people to experience sports games better. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze live video feeds from games, translating what is happening on screen to tablets through haptic feedback.
Field of Vision was one of the 10 finalists in the competition, held annually by Enterprise Ireland. The student team has won a prize of € 10,000 and will benefit from mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of the device.
But there were several other winners at the awards ceremony, which took place virtually today (June 11).
Marion Cantillon of University College Cork won a € 5,000 Excellence Award for her biofilm which eliminates the need for farmers to use plastic or tires to seal pits and reduces methane emissions.
Peter Timlin of the University of Dublin City and Richard Grimes of the University of Limerick also won an Award of Excellence for their socially responsible clothing brand, Pure Clothing.
Diglot, a language learning book company founded by Trinity College Dublin students Cian Mcnally and Evan Mcgloughlin, won a prize of € 5,000. The company, which has achieved sales in 19 countries to date, weaves foreign words into English phrases in classic novels, allowing the reader to gradually absorb new vocabulary.
Ivan McPhillips, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Rural Development at GMIT, won the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.
In addition to the cash prize, the winners will also share a € 30,000 advisory fund to help them turn their ideas into business reality. Merit awards were awarded to the six remaining finalists, as well as an amount of € 1,500 per team.
“Springboard for the business leaders of tomorrow”
This is the 40th edition of the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards, a competition open to students from all higher education institutions in the country.
The winner of last year’s competition was Mark O’Sullivan of University College Cork, who developed a device to help detect brain damage in newborns.
Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said the competition provides students with a platform to pitch their business ideas and serves as a “springboard for tomorrow’s business leaders”.
“The previous winners and finalists have had success both nationally and internationally,” he added.
“We received over 250 nominations for this year’s awards, with nominees demonstrating ingenuity in their approach to solving real-world problems in a variety of industries. “
Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, congratulated the winners. “I am truly impressed with the caliber and ingenuity of the ideas put forward, especially given the significant challenges that accompany this unprecedented year,” he said.