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The winners of the 2020 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards were announced during a special virtual event with guest of honour Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Now in their sixth year, the awards are a joint initiative of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland and they are sponsored by KPMG, Ulster Bank and media partner The Irish Times. Dr. Mary Canning, President said:

“The shortlisted and winning research innovations presented during today’s event clearly highlight the importance and value of collaboration between research in Irish higher education institutes and industry, to our global society.  We must foster and encourage greater cooperation and these awards celebrate what close cooperation can achieve.”

Ulster University and Avellino USA took home the Higher Education Institute/Research Centre award for their ground-breaking work into rare genetic eye diseases.

Accepting the award, Professor Tara Moore, Professor of Personalised Medicine at Ulster University said

“We are delighted to receive the US-Ireland Research Innovation Award. The research excellence underpinning this nomination is the culmination of many years of dedication and the collaborative efforts of the research teams at Ulster University and Avellino USA. This project would not have been possible without the sustained support of Avellino USA and their dedication to developing partner diagnostics and therapeutics for these rare genetic eye diseases.  

“At Ulster University we pride ourselves on working with industrial partners to bring expertise that solves real and tangible problems and helps business to innovate, develop and grow. By matching business needs with product development roadmaps supported by research we have achieved excellent outcomes for the life and health sciences sector and wider society.”

President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Carin Bryans said:

“Covid-19 has heightened the general awareness of the importance of research and development activity. This has made these awards extra special this year. The world-class level of innovation happening right here, right now is remarkable. It is the teams within Irish operations of US companies, constantly reinventing themselves that has moved Ireland up the value chain to provide high quality products & services for customers around the world. We can all be incredibly proud of their work and innovation. The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards demonstrate that Ireland now stands at the leading edge of competitive innovation.”