Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI wins national award for Knowledge Transfer Initiative of the Year

24 June 2016

RCSI's Innovation team has won the Knowledge Transfer Initiative of the Year Impact Award at the national Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Awards 2016. The award was presented to the team by Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD for their initiative "Building a Culture of Knowledge Transfer" at a ceremony held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin last night.

The winning initiative was led by Dr Aoife Gallagher, Head of Innovation, RCSI and Dr Seamus Browne, Industry Liaison Manager, RCSI who have spearheaded the College's commercialisation and industry engagement functions since the launch of the new RCSI Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) in 2014. The goal of the team is to work with RCSI Principal Investigators (PIs) to ensure that RCSI research is given the best opportunity to make economic and societal impact through the provision of customer-orientated industry engagement and research commercialisation services to researchers and industry partners. In 2015, the team launched a new strategic initiative "Building a Culture of Knowledge Transfer at RCSI" to maximize researcher engagement in knowledge transfer activities to achieve this goal.


Pictured (l-r) are Prof Raymond Stallings, Director of Research; RCSI;  Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD; Dr Aoife Gallagher, Head of Innovation, RCSI; Dr Seamus Browne, Industry Liaison Manager, RCSI; Prof Fergal O'Brien, Deputy Director of Applied Research, RCSI. 

Professor Ray Stallings, Director of Research at RCSI said: "I am delighted that the Innovation team of Dr Aoife Gallagher and Dr Seamus Browne in the Office of Research and Innovation at RCSI have received the KTI Knowledge Transfer Initiative of the Year Award. The award was made in recognition for building a Knowledge Transfer Culture in the College through their proactive engagement with both RCSI researchers and industry stakeholders. The knowledge transfer metrics speak for themselves, as the number of license, assignment and option agreements dramatically increased fourfold in 2015; invention disclosure forms submitted doubled; and industry agreements increased from three in 2014 to twenty one in 2015, a sevenfold increase".

"It is clear that successful universities of the future will need to build much deeper relationships with industry, to support the funding and application of research, and the ORI is fully committed to this extremely important process," Professor Stallings concluded

The initiative centred on three thematic areas: empowering RCSI researchers; recognising and celebrating research commercialisation and industry engagement success; and streamlining research commercialisation and the industry engagement process.

RCSI also had finalists in two other categories which included the Consultancy Impact Award for the RCSI and the HSE National Programme for Surgery led by Professor Frank Keane (Past-President, RCSI) and Mr Ken Mealy (RCSI Vice-President). SurgaColl Technologies Ltd and RCSI were finalists in the and Spin-out Company Impact Award with RCSI represented by SurgaColl's Academic Founder, Professor Fergal O'Brien, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine and Deputy Director of Research (Applied Research) at RCSI.

The Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) Impact Awards recognise and showcase the success in knowledge transfer carried out in Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and publicly funded research organisations across seven categories. Submissions were judged by an independent panel comprising international and Irish leaders in the areas of technology and knowledge transfer.

RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook' and #251 - 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.