Ideas to Industries Forum

On 31st May, the NCSR hosted the forum ‘Ideas to Industry’ as part of a series of events linked to a visit by Professor Gordon Wallace, director of the Australian Centre for Electromaterials Science (ACES).  Professor Wallace and several colleagues from the University of Wollongong spoke at the forum and presented technologies developed at the centre, which is focused on research into ‘bionics’ and the use of advanced materials and innovative fabrication technologies to produce new types of highly functional and personalised implants, ranging across devices to organs and regenerative tissue strategies.

Professor Dermot Diamond (INSIGHT Centre Principal Investigator) opened the forum, which featured contributions from leading national and international speakers drawn from both industry and academia.  The broad context centred on the difficult and risky pathway that leads an innovative idea through to a fully commercialised service or device.  The increasing importance of international research cooperation on meeting global societal challenges was raised, as evidenced by the shift in EU policies towards ‘Open Innovation’ and ‘Open Science’ from 2018 – policy changes that are being mirrored across the world.  Discussions on ways to prepare the Irish research landscape to align with these global shifts, and in particular, the importance of new mechanisms to enable the larger national research centres to initiate cooperative on challenge based research was emphasised.  It was agreed that the astonishing developments in materials science, ranging across chemistry, biology, physics and engineering, coupled with major recent advances in fabrication and characterisation technologies, would provide major opportunities across many application domains.

In addition to Profs. Wallace and Diamond, the academic contributors included Prof. Michael Morris (Director, Amber Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), Prof. Robert Forster (Director, National Centre for Sensor Research, Dublin City University), Prof. Kieran Drain (Director, Tyndall National Institute, Ireland), Prof. Chung-Yu Peter Wu (National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan).  Industry contributors included Dr. Russell Jones (GlaxoSmithKline, UK), Dr. Barry Burns (Henkel, Ireland), Prof. Tony Killard (BreathDX, UK), Dr. Jan Weber (Boston Scientific, Netherlands) and Dr. David Moore (Viska Systems, Ireland).

The forum was followed by a reception at the Australian Embassy hosted by Ambassador Ruth Alder.


Ideas to Industries
















Clockwise from top left:

  • Fletcher Thompson, Me3D Pty. Ltd. (Australia) setting up some of his innovative 3D printing kit at the forum. Fletcher is in the process of establishing a new company to manufacture systems in Ireland.
  • The ‘SwEatch’ Device – jointly developed by Prof. Diamond’s and Prof. Wallace’s group (INSIGHT-NCSR-ACES). The device samples and analyses sweat in real time, and transmits the data wirelessly to a remote laptop/tablet computer or mobile phone.  The device employed bespoke electronics developed by Shimmer (DCU Innovation Campus).
  • Professors Wallace (left) and Diamond (right)
  • Professor Wallace speaking at the forum
  • A reagent based analyser platform for analysing nutrients and heavy metals developed by Professor Diamond’s team as part of the EU multipartner project CommonSense ( The platform employs pumps developed by James Pringle (Melbourne) and obtained through contacts established via ACES.
  • From Left; Carolyn Hughes (INVENT Centre DCU), Claire Williams (Forum Administrator, STEP Unit DCU), Dr. Aymen BenAzouz (INSIGHT Researcher, DCU, working on NAPES EU Project,
  • Three Belfast lads: Profs. Doug MacFarlane (ACES, Monash University, Melbourne), Prof. Gordon Wallace, Prof. Dermot Diamond.
  • Prof. Tony Killard speaking at the forum.

Ideas to Industries















Left to Right along each row from top:

  • Russell Jones (GlaxoSmithKline) speaking at the forum
  • Carolyn Hughes, Barry Burns and Dermot Diamond
  • Kieran Drain addressing the forum
  • Ruth Adler welcoming the participants to the Australian Embassy
  • Chung-Yu Peter Wu speaking at the forum
  • Margaret McCaul (INSIGHT Researcher, CommonSense EU Project) left, in discussions with Jan Weber, Boston Scientific.
  • Carolyn Hughes, Dermot Diamond, Kieran Drain and Ruth Adler, at the Australian embassy reception.
  • Dermot Diamond, Mick Morris (Amber Centre director) and Ruth Adler, at the Australian embassy reception.
  • Wallace speaking at the Australian Embassy

For more information on speakers and delegates the brochure can be found here: