NanobOx wins ‘One to Watch’ at Big Ideas showcase

NovaUCD spin-out NanobOx has developed a highly energy-efficient technology.

Dr John Favier and Dr Mohammad Ghaani of NovaUCD spin-out NanobOx were presented with the “One to Watch Award” at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2022 showcase.

Now in its 14th year, Enterprise Ireland held the 2022 Big Ideas pitch event in front of a live audience in Croke Park as well as a virtual audience online. 

“Generating nanobubbles is particularly energy intensive, but with novel, patented technology NanobOx has managed to reduce the energy required to do so”

NanobOx was one of 12 investor-ready start-up companies to pitch their new technology solutions to investors at the annual showcase of start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes. The Big Ideas pitch teams were competing for the One to Watch Award, which was decided by a judging panel.

Bubbling to the top 

NanobOx was pitched by Dr John Favier, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of the start-up. Favier founded NanobOx along with Dr Mohammad Ghaani. They have developed a highly energy-efficient technology to oxygenate water using nanobubbles.

Many commercial bioprocesses require oxygen levels in process waters to be consistently maintained. This can be a significant operating cost for a process that can be critical to productivity.

In aquaculture, or the farming of fish stocks, for example, the energy cost of oxygenation can be the second highest expense after feed. It can represent 60pc to 70pc of operating costs in biological wastewater treatment.

Generating nanobubbles is particularly energy intensive, but with novel, patented technology NanobOx has managed to reduce the energy required to do so. Its nanobubble generators can be solar or battery-powered, and with no moving parts they are easy to clean and maintain. The company claims its technology is highly scalable and can oxygenate water at high flowrates.

A “Viewers’ Choice Award” was also presented to Robert Wylie of Fada Medical, which is on a mission to improve insulin delivery for people living with type 1 diabetes. To do this, Fada Medical has developed a novel diffusion technology that can extend the wear-time of infusion-set cannulas, supporting consistent long-term insulin pump use.

The selected pitch teams each had just three minutes to promote their innovations and business propositions to an invited in person and online audience made up of the Irish research and investment communities and the wider start-up ecosystem. 

Other Big Ideas at this year’s event included innovations which address a wide range of issues, including an injectable gel treatment to give superior relief and protection from knee osteoarthritis, AI-powered video summarisation, a wearable medical device to treat dry and sore eyes, and a way to categorise transaction data to determine carbon hotspots and provide recommendations to lower carbon emissions.

Main image at top: Dr John Favier, co-founder and CEO at NanobOx; Marina Donohoe, Incoming Divisional Manager Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland and Dr Mohammad Ghaani, co-founder at NanobOx

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