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C-TRIC Shortlisted For Irish Times Innovation Award

15 March 2010

C-TRIC, the North-West’s pioneering clinical research facility, is in the running for a prestigious all Ireland enterprise award.  It has been shortlisted in the inaugural Irish Times Innovation 2010 Awards, held in association with InterTradeIreland.

C-TRIC has been developed as a joint partnership between the University of Ulster at Magee, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) and Derry City Council, with funding for the project provided by ILEX urban regeneration company and Invest Northern Ireland.

The purpose built unit in the Altnagelvin Hospital site of the Western Trust brings healthcare, technology and research under one roof to facilitate the development of innovative products and services

Seventeen organisations have been shortlisted across six categories from 282 companies and organisations that initially registered in the competition. C-TRIC’s nomination is in the North-South Collaboration section.

The only facility of is kind in Ireland or Britain, it has cross-border Board membership and client companies with cross-border interests.  At C-TRIC, University of Ulster experts are engaged in important research into osteoporosis and other diseases of ageing as part of the Irish Universities’ Nutrition project, which also involves three universities in the Republic.

C-TRIC stands for Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre. A primary aim is to reduce the time to market and costs associated with Research and Development (R&D) in innovative health technologies, medical devices and therapeutics. The 9,000 sq ft facility was officially opened in April last year by Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest Northern Ireland.

Magee-based Eddie Friel, Head of Business Liaison and Academic Enterprise at the University of Ulster Office of Innovation, said: “Just to make it through to the shortlist is an enormous coup for a young facility such as C-TRIC. To be nominated against competition from many of the best innovators in Ireland is an outstanding achievement. C-TRIC’s stakeholders and the companies involved in it are delighted.”

Dr Maurice O’Kane, Head of R&D within the Western Trust and Chief Executive of C-TRIC said: “There have been some excellent projects taking place in C-TRIC since it opened last year, and we believe that making this shortlist illustrates the real potential that the facility holds for innovative healthcare research and development. Improvements in technology and healthcare constantly evolve and C-TRIC is in a prime position to influence and facilitate this by bringing together the academic, clinical and biobusiness sectors.”

Councillor Paul Fleming, Mayor of Derry, said: “We are delighted that the facility has been acknowledged in this way. The Irish Times Innovation awards are very prestigious in recognising business excellence.  The C-TRIC project is an excellent example of partnership working on a cross-border basis in assisting local businesses to advance the exploration and application of new healthcare technology ideas. I firmly believe that by being shortlisted for this award, we will further enhance our attractiveness for inward investment to the North West region as well as assisting local industries to develop and deliver innovative healthcare products and services.”

Part of C-TRIC’s unique quality is that it is an academic, business and clinical partnership that works in unison as a single package on an acute hospital site, facilitating clinical research and streamlining new product development. It is a centre for university researchers and private sector businesses seeking clinical research and expertise in the development of new medical devices and technologies. It also houses start-up firms that specialise in devising products in those fields.

Shortlisted firms now go on to present to a panel of judges, with the category winners and an overall ‘innovator of the year’ – chosen from the category winners – announced an awards event to be held in late March.