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2017 Winners Announced


Invent 2017 Winners announced

The annual INVENT 2017 Awards Dinner took place on Thursday 5th October in the Belfast Waterfront Conference Centre where we announced the overall winner as Phion Therapeutics. 

You can catch up on all the #Invent2017 happenings via our hashtag. 

Our finalists competed through several challenging rounds of pitches, assessed by our independent expert judges and our category winners and overall winner won a share of the £33,000 prize fund, access to our global network and a coveted place on the NI Tech Mission to California.

This year saw a record number of entries, with over 120 innovations being submitted. Discover who won below:

Phion Therapeutics

Targeted and controlled drug delivery technology

Team Helen McCarthy & David Tabaczynski 

Overall winner and Life & Health category winner



Automated beer keg solution 

Team Bryan Murphy, Conor Mcgurk, Connor Carville, Donavan Cambell, Patrick Devlin, Aaron Rath

Agri Science Category Winner 



Discrete wearable heatpack

Team Fiona Bennington 

Engineering Category Winner


Smart Tracking Bag

Team Niamh Tohill, Vincent Kearney, Andrew Cunningham, Nathan Steenson, Matthew Whiteside

Electronics Category Winner

Seat View

360 degree virtual reality seat views

Team Graham Little

Consumer & Creative Internet Category Winner



Fast, proactive and scalable application of security features

Team Gary Robinson

Enterprise Software Category Winner


Student Awards

The Invent Student awards took place on Wednesday 13th September and were sponsored and hosted by Ulster University.

We invited back the top twelve student scores from the Invent qualifying rounds to battle it out to be crowned the student winner and receive £1000. The winning student was Hurt Lockers. 

The Students pitched in front of a live audience of teachers and school students who selected Evy as their 'Pupil's Choice' vote.  Read more here

Innovation Founder Award

Connect is future-focused, but that’s not to say we can’t learn a thing or two from the past. Our annual Innovation Founders Award is given to a local innovator who has successfully pushed the possibility of their business idea beyond boundaries. They come from a wide variety of sectors but all share a common characteristic: having the tenacity and vision to develop home-grown innovation into remarkable success stories. They are all testament to the fact that in Northern Ireland we are as capable as anywhere in the world at creating outstanding breakthrough businesses. 

We are delighted to announce that our Innovation Founder 2017 is Mr. James Leckey of Leckey Design. 

Steering Team

Clare Passmore


David Brownlee

HSC Innovations

Neil Buchanan


Kathleen Garrett


Niamh Griffin

Bank Of Ireland UK

Andrew Jennings

Arthur Cox

John Macrae

Ulster University

Steven Orr

Deloitte Digital

Neasa Quigley

Carson Mc Dowell

Kathryn Walls

Mills Selig

Jason Wiggins