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Ireland’s ‘Davos for Deep Tech’ takes place in Cork

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Teams from across the island that took part are developing novel technologies in communications, photonics, AI and early childhood learning.

One of the biggest challenges in creating a strong deep-tech ecosystem is finding talented entrepreneurs to join research teams.

To address this problem, deep-tech research institutes in Ireland recently brought together 60 entrepreneurs and executives to meet with research teams from across the island, including Belfast, Cork, Galway and Dublin, in the hopes to create stellar deep-tech start-ups.

Hosted at Tyndall National Institute based in University College Cork (UCC), the event dubbed Ireland’s “Davos for Deep Tech” was hosted by Pioneer Group as the second national deep-tech partner opportunity platform (POP). It follows an inaugural event that took place in Dublin last May.

“From Silicon Valley to Cork to Singapore, I’ve experienced the same feedback, the primary bottleneck in creating deep tech start-ups is finding and matching the right entrepreneurial talent to venture scientist teams,” said Míchéal Collins, spin-out manager at UCC Innovation.

“The POP format is built to precisely solve this problem. Each event develops our growing database of connected, powerful entrepreneurs and executives who are key to bringing our deep-tech innovations to the world.”

Teams that took part in the event are developing a range of technologies including next-generation communications, photonics, AI solutions, power systems, early childhood learning, as well as environmental and agricultural technologies.

The POP format has been developed by staff members of Ireland’s university technology transfer offices, as what organisers describe as a “grassroots, needs-driven initiative” to solve a pressing global problem in deep-tech: finding entrepreneurial talent to join research teams.

“Universities throughout Ireland are full of great ideas, to turn these great ideas into unicorns we need exceptional people and smart money,” said Simon Factor, head of new ventures and investments at NovaUCD based in University College Dublin (UCD).

“This event seeks to connect talented technologists with experienced entrepreneurs to build propositions that will captivate investors. At NovaUCD, 25pc of the spin-out companies we have launched in the last five years have CEOs who joined teams of UCD researchers to build high potential start-up companies.”

Some of the universities that participated in the event include UCC (Tyndall), UCD, Dublin City University, Munster Technological University, Ulster University, University of Galway and Trinity College Dublin.

“This event presents a fantastic opportunity for commercialisation researchers to build new business relationships that could dramatically impact their respective business propositions,” added event host Peter Finnegan, head of new ventures at Tyndall.

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