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Early Cancer detection technology wins Donegal student national entrepreneur award

Enterprise Ireland student prize for Christopher McBrearty

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Entrepreneur award for Donegal student

Christopher McBrearty of NanoDetect pictured with his parents Eugene and Ann McBrearty.

An early prostate cancer detection technology developed by a Donegal student has won Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  

NanoDetect, which was developed by from National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) student Christopher McBrearty, can provide an advanced PSA screening technology to GPs and hospitals that will improve detection rates of prostate cancer. 

Mr McBearty, from Killybegs, was one of ten finalists at the awards, which took place today at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and received €10,000 as part of the Enterprise Ireland student prize. 

He will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of the concept.     

Mr McBrearty said:  “Our core goal is to reduce patient waiting time with quick test results and to help educate and raise awareness around prostate cancer. 

"Our future goal is to be the breast check equivalent for men and to eventually bring our technology into other routine screen procedures for disease types.”   

This is the 38th year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices and are open to all third level colleges across the country.  NanoDetect shared in a €35,000 prize fund, with three other finalists receiving awards today. 

The Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attourneys’ High Achieving Merit Award went to CIT’s John Colbert, David O’Connor, Elise Kenneally and Michael Goggin for StomAssure.  The four students received a prize of €5,000 for their implantable alternative to the current stoma treatment method.   

The Grant Thornton Emerging Business Award went to Ulster University’s Jenny Gregg for her Crafted Equestrian business.  Crafted Equestrian creates products for the equestrian market that positively impact the lives of horses and their owners.  Her first product, a patented pressure relieving girth that prevents girth galls, received the €5,000 prize.      

The final Local Enterprise Office ICT award and €5,000 went to TU Dublin’s Micron Agritech Limited created by students Daniel Izquierdo Hijazi, Sean Smith, Tara McElligott and Jose Lopez Escobar.  Their Tastail Kit allows farmers to instantly test their animals on-site for parasites, receiving an instant text with results, as opposed to the current 3-5 day waiting time.  This will significantly cut down on antimicrobial drug usage by farmers.   

Along with the prize money the winners will also share in a €30,000 consultancy fund that will enable them to turn their ideas into a commercial reality.  Enterprise Ireland Merit awards were given to the remaining six finalists along with €1,500 per team. 

More information on the Student Entrepreneur Awards can be found on www.studententrepreneurawards. com