The best new inventions from Northern Ireland

The Invent Awards recognise the best new inventions emerging from Northern Ireland each year. 

The 2017 Invent Awards winners have been announced. Held at the Waterfront Conference Centre in Belfast, the annual awards recognise Northern Ireland’s latest breakthrough inventions.

The overall winner of Invent 2017 went to Phion Therapeutics developed by Dr. Helen McCarthy (pictured above centre). Dr. McCarthy won a prize package worth £13,000 and one of the sought after spaces on the NI Tech Mission to California in January 2018.

Phion Therapeutics aims to revolutionise how drugs are delivered to parts of the human body.

“Phion has been able to concentrate various anionic drugs into tumours while preventing delivery to normal or healthy tissue and cells. This is potentially revolutionary for the treatment of cancer,” says Professor Helen McCarthy from the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast. “The list of potential applications is almost limitless.”

The other winners on the night

The five category winners, who received £3,000 and a place on the NI Tech Mission were:

  • KegoMatic, the brainchild of six electrical engineering students from Queen’s University Belfast – Connor McGurk, Connor Carville, Donovan Campbell, Patrick Devlin, Bryan Murphy and Aaron Rath – is an automated beer keg solution.
  • Evy, a smart tracking bag, was created by Queen’s University Belfast students Niamh Tohill, Andrew Cunningham, Vincent Kearney, Nathan Steenson and Matthew Whiteside.
  • Seatview, founded by Graham Little, Andrew Murray, and Stuart Ogg and provides customers with a 360-degree virtual reality view from their allocated seats.
  • Uleska, founded by experienced entrepreneur Gary Robinson builds cybersecurity into web applications while they are being built.
  • Hug, created by product designer Fiona Bennington, is a wearable heat pack.

For more information on Invent 2017 visit The awards are sponsored by Bank of Ireland and Connect at Catalyst Inc. 

Related Resource

Ten Irish inventions that changed the world.