DkIT and Nova Leah win Knowledge Transfer Ireland “Impact Awards” 2019

26 November 2019



Dundalk Institute of Technology and Cyber security spin-out, Nova Leah have been awarded the Spin-out Company Award at the Knowledge Transfer Ireland “Impact Awards” 2019.

The annual KTI Impact Awards, in five categories, recognise significant achievements in knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of research carried out in Irish Higher Education Institutions and publicly funded research organisations nationwide. The Awards pay tribute to the work of those within Ireland’s Knowledge Transfer Offices who provide a vital link between industry and the academic research. 

The Dundalk-based start-up cyber security firm Nova Leah spun out of Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2015 and provides platform and software tools primarily to help connected medical device manufacturers meet cybersecurity compliance requirements throughout the entire product lifecycle. The company was recognised by KTI for its exceptional achievements during the year that included raising its third round of seed funding of €2.25million; growing too large for DkIT incubation centre that necessitated moving to a larger premises; increasing sales by 250% in a 12 month period; signing several Tier 1 healthcare companies and beginning a major trial with the regulatory body in the USA.  

Speaking today, Aidan Browne, Head of Innovation and Business Development at DkIT said,

“We are delighted that DkIT and Nova Leah have been awarded the prestigious KTI Impact Award. The company spun out from DkIT’s Regulated Software Research Centre in 2015 and the Regional Development Centre at DkIT has been instrumental in supporting the company in its early stages as a start-up company. The Regional Development Centre provided support in terms of Business plan development, go-to-market strategies, initial company formation and licencing, and once established as a Start-up company, provided Incubation facilities and support for business development and investor cultivation.    

Nova Leah now employs more than 23 in Dundalk and is a company of significant importance for our region in terms of generating growth and jobs."

Dr Tim McCormac, Head of Research added, 

“I would like to congratulate Nova Leah and the Regional Development Centre on this worthy recognition from KTI. The growth of Nova Leah over recent years is fantastic example of how state-funded research in Higher Education can help drive innovation and create new business opportunities that can benefit the economy and wider society. DkIT has established a reputation for research & innovation excellence in the area of Connected Health & Wellbeing and the success of Nova Leah has been a big part of this and look forward to continuing our partnership with the company into the future.” 

Also speaking today, Dr Anita Finnegan, Founder and CEO of Nova Leah said,

"We are honoured and humbled by the recognition we have garnered together. It’s a reflection of the great efforts of the Regulated Software Research Centre at DkIT, Neil McLoughlin, DkIT’s Technology Transfer Manager and the entire team at Nova Leah to initiate, develop and commercialise DkIT founded IP. We are immensely proud our journey from PhD research to substantial international growth. Winning the Knowledge Transfer Award for ‘Spinout of the Year’ is a great reminder of the strength of our collaboration and just how far we’ve come."

Nova Leah was among four other winners at the KTI “Impact Awards”. Other winning entries include:

  • Collaborative Research Impact Award: University College Dublin (UCD) and Glanbia. The collaboration led to the establishment of a facility in Tipperary to transform dairy waste products into high value bio-based products including biodegradable plastics, bio-based fertilizers and minerals for human nutrition.
  • Consultancy Impact Award: University College Cork (UCC) and Abbott Nutrition Ireland for work to improve the manufacturing process of its infant milk formula and the product itself.
  • Licence2Market Impact Award: University College Dublin (UCD) and Atlantic Therapeutics for the licensing of an externally worn electrical muscle stimulator to treat stress urinary incontinence.
  • Knowledge Transfer Achiever of the Year Award was jointly presented to Fiona Neary, Innovation Operations Manager & Bioexel Accelerator Commercial Lead at NUI Galway and Anthony Morrissey, Commercialisation Case Manager at University College Cork for their exceptionally high performances in their respective roles.

Special commendation was also paid on the night to Anu Sahni, Lecturer in Computing & Technology Transfer Case Manager for her contribution to knowledge transfer at the National College of Ireland.

Media Enquiries:

  • Thomas Redmond
  • Head of Marketing & Communications