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

Name: Becca Hume
Invention: E+Press
From: Newtownabbey

e+press 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, Becca Hume has been developing the app 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 – establishing itself as the “Next Generation” app.

Locate A Locum

When a pharmacy has a planned or unplanned absence resulting in no pharmacist, they make contact with a locum pharmacist who would temporarily fill the position. Locate a locum solves this problem by offering an online platform to connect the two parties.


Em-Bed is a manufacturer and distributor of cardboard, foldable beds packed with personal essentials (food, hygiene products, medical supplies). The primary market is natural disaster relief.

JumPack is a tough, lightweight, easily portable and foldable extreme sports jump ramp. Although other small ramps exist, none of them are designed to be carried 'hands free' whilst riding a bike or skateboard.


Name: Paul Watts
Company: Purple Magic
Invention: Purple Potatoes
From: Lurgan

Purple Magic is a patented purple-flesh potato variety with high levels of anthocyanins, which was invented by Paul Watts, 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 made at AFBI, Loughgall. It 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 Engineering has developed a unique, enclosed sheep dipping unit (made of plastic) which reduces the labour, time and potential health & safety risks associated with performing this task.

Life & Health

Name: Paul Moorhead & George Redpath
Company: Kraydel
INVENT Category: Life and Health
From: Belfast & Lisburn

Kraydel will be the product that gives people confidence that their elderly relatives are safe & well in their own homes, and alerts them to any cause for concern.

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 has developed an iPad based app that monitors stress levels through real-time biofeedback, allowing users to regulate and manage their stress levels. TakeTen uses technology to help children and young people retrain their body to deal more effectively with stress and anxiety. Their mission is to have TakeTen software in every school, every home and on every phone.


Team: Jonathan Browning (Belfast) Joseph Quinn (Coalisland), Connor Duggan (Randalstown), Mark McAleer (Dungannon), Orla Martin (Derry)
Invention: Eleso
School: Queens University Belfast

Eleso is an electronic payment solution company based in Queen’s University Belfast. Their mission is to be the new global standard for paying for fuel at forecourts. 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 many other settings including ‘Drive Through’ areas such as fast food and pharmacies, car washes and parking.

Names: Prof. Kang Li, Dr. Joe Devlin and Dr. Jing Deng
Company: Point Energy

Point Energy was founded in 2016 and provides a data driven insight and 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. Point Energy is launching a full platform in September 2016 and has already completed extensive trials with manufacturers.

Enterprise Software

Elemental Software specialises in providing software solutions for the Connected Health sector. “My Social Prescription (MSP) is a a cloud-based solution that fundamentally changes how stakeholders in community health interact to reduce the risk and progression of chronic health conditions.

The Shield is a website security solution with the aim of resolving the biggest security solution problems their clients face. The Shield has designed their own website backup technology that "works better than any other solutions on the market".

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.