Invent 2016

A competition to find inventions with the greatest commercial potential from Northern Ireland


The Semi final is now over and the finalists have been selected. The winners of INVENT 2016 will be announced at our annual night of invention at the INVENT Awards in front of 600 people including leading technology experts, commercial executives and entrepreneurs on 29th September. Our tickets are now on sale via the link below.

Eventbrite - INVENT Awards 2016

INVENT challenges inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists and startups with proof-of-concepts and prototypes in science and technology to discover the commercial potential of their idea. Entrants compete through rounds of pitching assessed by our independent expert judges to win a share of the £33,000 prize fund, access to our global network and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California.

Finalists 2016

Creative Media & Consumer Internet

e+press was created by Becca Hume from Newtownabbey and is the first app of its kind designed to provide non-verbal instant connectivity to Emergency Services in a highly efficient and visual manner. Since its formation in 2014, the app has been developed whilst collaborating with the UK’s emergency services, establishing a strong relationship resulting in e+press being placed onto the app accreditation scheme with BAPCO (British Association of Public Safety-Communications Officials) ensuring full integration with the BT telematics system. Due for completion in 2017, this integration will ensure that e+press alerts are treated as any other 999 emergency call.

Locate a locum was founded by Jonny Clarke and Michael Budden from Belfast. It is an online platform connecting pharmacists with employers. There are 14,000 pharmacies across the UK. Legislation states that to be open - a pharmacy must have a registered pharmacist on the premises at all times. It is a major problem for pharmacy owners if their regular pharmacist is absent from work as it can very difficult to find locums who are available and eligible to work. Locate a Locum provides an online platform for the two parties to communicate.


EmBed was invented by Eve McLelland from Belfast, was designed to bring hope, restore worth and rebuild confidence when disaster strikes, through high quality and innovative design. Founded in October 2015, Embed manufacture and distribute cardboard, foldable beds packed with personal essentials (food, hygiene products, medical supplies) for people impacted by natural disasters. Funding will allow creation of a die for the mass manufacturing process and bring the product to market. Further investment will be directed towards research and development for new products and to advance existing models.

JumPack has been invented by Philip McIntosh (Downpatrick) and Mike Crowe (Belfast). It is a tough, lightweight, easily portable and foldable extreme sports jump ramp. It is designed to be carried 'hands free' whilst riding a bike or skateboard. Phil McIntosh, a former All-Ireland mountain bike champion invented Jumpack when he was out with his family and saw three young people with BMX bikes and the components of a ramp (a plank and bricks). Two of the young people were carrying the planks and bricks and the other was trying to control the three BMX bikes. This was Phil’s ‘light bulb’ moment and he his co-founder Mike Crowe have designed and built JumPack. Click Here to see it in action.


Purple Magic has been invented by Paul Watts from Lurgan. It is a patented, purple-flesh potato variety with high levels of anthocyanins, developed at AFBI, Loughgall in 2003. Consumption of highly coloured fruits and vegetables that have high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanins is thought to have many health benefits as they can reduce free-radicals found in cancer types. Purple Magic was derived from a cross breed and was selected along with several other coloured flesh varieties for evaluation in Canada, eventually achieving varietal status in 2015. Production has been licensed to a Canadian company and the variety has shipped 44 tonnes in 2015, and aiming to produce over 800 tonnes in 2016.

Oran Oak 'Dip Fast' was founded by the Kelly Family of Beragh, Co. Tyrone. The current task of dipping sheep (assisting with parasite control) is time consuming and labour intensive. Oran Oak Engineering has developed a unique, rotational moulded sheep-showering unit that reduces labour time and potential health & safety risks associated with performing this task. Once manufactured, Oran Oak plans to assemble the units at the manufacturing location in Beragh, Co.Tyrone. The primary export markets are the UK and Ireland, Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Life & Health

Kraydel established by Paul Moorhead (Belfast) and George Redpath (Lisburn). Kraydel is a technology start-up developing a system that provides non-intrusive monitoring of elderly people living alone. Their product consists of a base station with environmental sensing capabilities and a tablet interface, paired with a wrist-strap which provides heart-rate, and temperature measurements and an accelerometer to detect falls, seizures, and to monitor tremor. It will also provide range and location data in later releases.

TakeTen (founded by Fintan Connolly) has developed a gaming app that monitors stress levels through real-time biofeedback, allowing users to regulate and manage their stress levels. This innovative technology helps children and young people retrain their body to deal more effectively with stress and anxiety. The games have a novel mode of action – they respond to the user’s physiology and will only progress whenever the user is calm. Positive benefits have been recorded particularly for children with special needs and learning difficulties and the visual element has been especially appealing to children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. TakeTen has established a strong presence in over 190 schools in the UK.


Eleso was established by a group of Queens University Belfast students. Their product Fuel & Drive turns a vehicle into a method of payment through the integration of a number plate recognition system installed at forecourt pumps. It will provide a system that increases security at forecourts whilst decreasing the payment processing time, allowing for a higher throughput of vehicles and 24-hour operation. In the future the current system will be developed for use in settings including ‘Drive Through’ areas such as fast food and pharmacies, car washes and parking. The team consists of Jonathan Browning (Belfast) Joseph Quinn (Coalisland), Connor Duggan (Randalstown), Mark McAleer (Dungannon), Orla Martin (Derry)

Point Energy was founded in 2016 by Prof. Kang Li, Dr. Joe Devlin and Dr. Jing Deng (Belfast). It provides data driven insight and an energy saving service to the manufacturing industry through an energy monitoring and data mining system. Point Energy delivers end-to-end energy monitoring as a service solution for manufacturing systems. Their novel, non-intrusive hardware and award winning solution collects high granularity data on the energy utilisation of every component in every machine in factories. This data is sent securely to the cloud and provided to the customer. The statistical analysis enables manufacturers to understand their energy usage and deliver significant savings.

Enterprise Software

Elemental enables a community wide adoption of the social prescribing model of care, benefiting and empowering patients, clinicians and community providers alike. Our social prescription software supports communities in changing the behaviours of citizens most at risk in order to activate health improvement and prevent illness.

The Shield has been developed by Paul Goodchild from Belfast. It provides scalable security software that protects WordPress sites from criminal and malicious hacking. The team was able to design countermeasures to hacking after recognising that the overwhelming majority of website attacks are conducted by automated bots.

INVENT Student Competition

In 2016 our student competition has returned with a group of brilliant young entrepreneurs with innovative ventures and ideas that they want to commercialise. Over the summer the teams will prepare pitches coached by some of our team and our 'Entrepreneurs in Residence'. Ten teams will pitch their invention and business idea on 15th September at Ulster University as they compete to win the title of the most innovative project in 2016 and a cash prize of £100.


7th Sept | Final Pitch (09:00-16:30)

15th Sept | Student Competition (UUB)

29th Sept | INVENT Awards 2016

Jan 2017 | NI Tech Mission to California

Innovation Founders Award

Nominations for the Innovation Founders Award are now open. The award recognises the efforts of entrepreneurs who have developed science and technology innovations whose ideas and positive contribution to the community have helped put Northern Ireland innovation on the map. Click here to nominate.





Previous Winners


"The competition allowed us to test our ideas, get better connected within the entrepreneurial community and gave us great publicity. I have to admit that the Tech Mission to San Diego was a huge incentive for us to apply and it really did exceed all expectations. It's also a great opportunity to pitch to some top experts."


INVENT opened an entirely new network of people to my company, AppAttic. It forced me to grow personally in key business areas including strengthening my pitching skills. And the Tech Mission was like the cherry on top, where we made important business connections on the West Coast US.”


“Since winning, ProAxsis has raised investment, recruited a scientific and commercial team, and secured contracts with global companies. INVENT provided validation of my business plan and winning opened a treasure trove of like-minded people who inspire and support entrepreneurs.”


If you have any questions about the competition contact Peter Edgar for further advice and help.

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