The SFI Future Innovator Prize is a new challenge-based prize programme calling on researchers to develop innovative approaches to societal challenges facing Ireland. Conor Judge (right), an ICAT Fellow based at NUI Galway (NUIG), is part of a team focusing on the challenge area: Reducing the Burden of Chronic Pain. Their project, A novel hydrogel to address chronic pain in Irish patients, is focused on the development of Hydrolieve, a novel hydrogel for treating chronic neuropathic pain and has been selected as one of twelve projects to compete for the €1 million prize.
The multidisciplinary team consists of Dr Alison Liddy (Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry, NUIG); Dr Martin O’Halloran (Electronic Engineering and Clinical Research, NUIG); Dr Chris Maharaj (Consultant Anaesthetist & Pain Specialist, University Hospital Galway); Dr Barry McDermott (Pharmacist, Veterinarian and Medical Device Engineer) and Dr Conor Judge (ICAT Fellow, Engineer and Nephrology Specialist Registrar).
Conor is currently pursuing a PhD project investigating technology-enabled adaptive clinical trial methodologies for more efficient and effective clinical research in NUI Galway, with Prof Martin O’Donnell and Dr Martin O’Halloran. Conor originally trained in Electronic and Computer Engineering before entering Medicine and has an interest in developing novel software solutions for unmet clinical needs.
The SFI Future Innovator Prize, funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland, encourages researchers across the country to work together to identify major challenges facing Ireland’s society and to propose creative and impactful solutions to them.
The twelve selected teams have been awarded €20k to undertake team building, scoping and concept validation activities. Following this development phase, five shortlisted teams will be awarded €200k to further validate and prototype their proposed solutions. The prize winner will be announced in December 2019 and will be funded €1 million to further develop and deploy their solution. More information about the teams competing for the award can be found here.