News & Events

US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards Dinner press release

Xilinx, Connect Centre for Future Networks, and Oxymem were the overall winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards, jointly presented by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner in the Clayton Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Friday night.

Almost 700 guests gathered as the awards were presented in the presence of Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys. Among the audience were leaders of many of the US companies in Ireland, representatives from academia and a range of Irish and international business leaders. The event was sponsored by KPMG, Ulster Bank and media partner The Irish Times.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said:

‘I know that innovation is something that the American Chamber cares passionately about. This is a passion that I share because research and innovation is fundamental to growing the Irish economy and the wider Irish-American business relationship. As a Government, we are committed to increasing investment in research and development and to use that as a pathway to future growth.

I am absolutely delighted to be here and to recognise the immense talent that we have in this country – which is one of the primary reasons why US and international companies want to come here. I think it only fitting to also commend the work of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber for ensuring that both the winners and the nominees get the recognition they have very much earned.’

President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Barry O’Sullivan said:

“Innovation is ultimately the difference between Leaders and Followers. It’s the practical application of our education, imagination and creativity, for our collective benefit. Nothing better showcases this than our US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards.

Ireland must continue to focus at speed on delivering innovation and competitiveness. The issues are within our collective control - education, the availability of affordable housing for all of our increasing population, world class physical and digital connectivity – to name but some.

Innovation at Speed is our only real future. Faster decision making processes within our government system is essential if further opportunities are to be captured, and not lost.”

President of the Royal Irish Academy Professor Michael Peter Kennedy said:

Lateral thinking is what is behind all great research innovations.

We must foster and encourage lateral thinking in our scientists and engineers as we have in our poets, novelists and playwrights. It is the key ingredient  that makes good work great.

Stephen Masterson, Head of Corporate Banking and Markets, Ulster Bank said:

The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards is such a great fit for Ulster Bank and we are very proud to support this unique event for the fourth year alongside the American Chamber of Commerce, The Royal Irish Academy and KPMG. Each category has pushed the boundaries of innovation to deliver cutting edge products, services and partnerships. This level of creativity and innovation ensures Ireland’s prominence as a progressive, educated and pioneering nation. It also reflects the path we are taking in Ulster Bank, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, to ensure our customers receive a consistent and positive customer experience.

 Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner, KPMG in Ireland commented

“We are delighted to support the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards. High quality inward investment has transformed the Irish economy and we are now recognised as the gateway to the EU for many of the world’s most innovative and successful businesses. These companies make a major contribution to innovation in Ireland, sustain thousands of high quality jobs and provide significant opportunities for domestic businesses. We wish all participants in this year’s awards every success.”

At the event, the American Chamber presented a Special Recognition Award to BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for its outstanding contribution to enabling students across Ireland to participate in science education.



Notes to the Editor

  • Now in their fourth year, the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards is a joint initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Irish Academy. They recognise excellence in research innovation that has taken place as a result of US business investment.


  • There were eight shortlisted candidates across three categories, Small or Medium-sized Enterprise, Higher Educational Institute and Multinational company.


  • 2018 SME category winner: Oxymem, an Irish wastewater start-up which has invented an innovative wastewater treatment called MABR (Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor). The treatment saves energy, reduces sludge and adds additional capacity to existing treatment plants in shorter timeframes than leading competitors.


  • 2018 MNC category winner: Xilinx Ireland, the global technology firm which has designed software defined microchip technology to address the growing requirements of 5G cellular networks.


  • 2018 HEI category winner: SFI Connect Centre For Future Networks in collaboration with Google has designed a software platform to evaluate audio quality on the internet by looking at sounds. The technology is called VISQOL.