Posted on Thursday 14 October 2010 by Ulster Business

Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) CONNECT’s search for the ‘next big thing’ to come out of the local publically funded research base ended with a team from the University of Ulster walking away with the top prize of £10,000 as overall winners of the technology entrepreneur awards.

LenisAer, founded by Michael Ludlow, Edel O’Neill, Sean Nelson and Alan Leacock, impressed judges with their cost-effective method for manufacturing airline engine covers which improve efficiency and reduce emissions. The team’s cutting edge manufacturing concept also provides the necessary damage control and repair ability for next generation airline engine enclosures, ensuring it has commercial potential. Edel O’Neill from LenisAer said: “We are delighted to have been named winner of this year’s £25k awards. The assessment has been challenging and required huge commitment from the whole team but ultimately the whole process has been extremely rewarding and insightful. “The awards have given LenisAer a fantastic opportunity to improve and polish our business concept – we have been exposed to some of Northern Ireland’s top venture capitalists and the advice we have received has been crucial in the development and commercialisation of our product. This is just the start for LenisAer as we look forward to investing the £10,000 prize fund into research and development in order to bring our idea – which started out at the University of Ulster – to the global aviation marketplace.” In addition, there were four £25k Awards category winner, who each picked up a cheque for £2,500. They were MVR in the Hitech category, SmartAir Medical in the Biotech category, Jellyflug in the Digital Media category and LenisAer in the CleanTech category. NISP CONNECT Director, Steve Orr, said: “The quality of entrants this year was exceptional and I would like to congratulate all the finalists. “LenisAer particularly impressed judges with their entry and are a perfect example of the innovative solutions that are being born out of Northern Ireland’s universities – I have no doubt that LenisAer’s manufacturing concept will have great commercial potential on a global scale.”

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