Three Galway companies nominated for prestigious innovation awards

Galway has underlined its role as a key innovations hub with three companies from the county making the shortlist for The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards.

Eighteen companies in total from across the island in six different industry categories were nominated. The aim of the awards, which are now in their sixth year, is to showcase and reward excellence in innovation across a range of products and services.

Seven companies from Dublin were nominated while five enterprises from Northern Ireland made the list. The other counties to feature were Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow. The shortlist features entries from established companies, innovators, start-ups and academia.

The three Galway companies to feature are Amatech Group Ltd, Spiddal; Embo Medical, Galway city; and Ocean Harvest Technology, Milltown.

Amatech Group works in the contactless payments area and it has enhanced its reputation in this area with the development of a more reliable connection system for the chips on payment cards which reduces the risks of connection breaks. The patented innovation has huge international potential and the firm has already completed an investment round of €2m to finalise its production facility.

Its innovation is the creation of the next generation of dual interface smart cards through the use of inductive coupling and electromagnetic theory. AmaTech has removed the need to directly connect the microchip with the antenna inside the card body, which greatly enhances the card quality, reliability and longevity, and in the process more than doubles the card manufacturer’s production throughput.

Embolisation is a versatile medical procedure required to treat several diseases and condition such as preventing blood from feeding into a cancerous tumour. Existing devices can be cumbersome to implant, time consuming and expensive. Embo Medical, which is based in the city, has developed a ‘one shot’ embolisation device that improves safety and simplifies this important procedure while also reducing costs.

Embolisation is a surgical procedure that permanently shuts down blood flow to a diseased blood vessel or organ e.g. stopping blood flow to a cancerous tumour. Existing embolisation devices can be cumbersome to implant, time consuming and expensive. Designed with the physician and patients' needs in mind, Embo Medical has developed safer, easy to use, cost-effective embolisation technology.

Based on its patented seaweed-based feed, Milltown based Ocean Harvest Technology has developed a new patented marine algae formulation which tackles a variety of diseases in farmed fish while also increasing their omega 3 levels by up to 30 per cent. The feed improves the health of the fish and its immune system while also helping to produce a healthier product for the consumer.

Oceanfeed salmon is proprietary and patented marine algae formulation used as a feed additive in salmon farming. Oceanfeed improves the health of farmed salmon, can help repel sea lice and improves taste and texture profile of the fish but more importantly it can raise omega 3 fatty acids up to 30 per cent in the fish. This will improve the health of the fish and improves its immune system and ultimately produce a healthier end product with health benefits for the consumer.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 17 in Belfast. Each category winner will secure a €10,000 media package with The Irish Times and an iPad.

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