ORBITAL is pleased to hear of the outstanding work from ORBITAL Project Coordinator, Dr. Laurence Fitzhenry, who was awarded with the Most Innovative Business Idea Award this July from New Frontiers.
New Frontiers is an Irish National Programme for Developing Entrepreneurs, developed on behalf of Enterprise Ireland. Through a series of both onsite and online workshops, mentoring, and financial support opportunities, it seeks to help innovators develop their technology and ideas into business-ready start-ups.
“New Frontiers helped us develop a credible business plan that could bring our technology from the lab to the market place. Over the course of the programme, the facilitators helped us to identify the funding infrastructure that could help us take our technology from development stage to production for commercialisation,” says Dr. Fitzhenry.
Dr. Fitzhenry is CEO and co-founder of OcuDel, an innovative spin-out company from Waterford IT, which delivers solutions for chronic diseases in both the human and animal health sector through both pipeline products and industry collaborations.
“The proprietary technology that OcuDel has developed focuses on treatment of dry eye disease. This is a condition which impacts millions of dogs across the globe, and can result in red, sore, gritty eyes and even decreased vision in many dogs that suffer from it.”
The chronic disease is also a burden on pet owners, who currently have to use multiple drops or ointments every day to combat the effects, which is both costly and time-consuming.
“The technology is meant to not only alleviate the burden on the pet but also the pet owner, by allowing for as little as 1 drop per day to the surface of the eye”, says Dr. Fitzhenry.
As the Project Coordinator for ORBITAL, Dr. Fitzhenry recognizes that there are direct links between the work being done at OcuDel and the training OBRITAL ESRs receive.
Industry and career training are key to the overall development of ORBITAL ESRs, particularly in Ocular Therapeutic and Drug Delivery Research. This award provides more evidence that the beneficiaries and partners involved in the ORBITAL Project are strong assets for our network.
Dr. Fitzhenry and the other New Frontiers participants all created videos of their business ideas as part of the Virtual Showcase, which were part of the overall competition. You can see Dr. Fitzhenry’s video, below.