Saturday 21 July 2018

BoI's Kernel Capital to put €1.3m into medtech firm

Causeway Sensors in Belfast is working on a solution to antibiotic resistance. (Stock photo)
Causeway Sensors in Belfast is working on a solution to antibiotic resistance. (Stock photo)

Andrew Madden

Queen's University's medical technology spin-out, Causeway Sensors, has landed a £1.2m (€1.3m) investment from the Bank of Ireland's venture capital fund, Kernel Capital.

Founded in 2013 by Dr Robert Pollard, Professor Robert Bowman and Dr John Nelson, Causeway Sensors in Belfast is working on a solution to antibiotic resistance.

The investment comes from the Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI), in partnership with Invest NI, private investors and the university's commercial arm, QUBIS.

Further funding was also secured from Innovate UK, a government arm's-length body that reports to the department for business, energy and industrial strategy.

The Causeway Sensors team has developed a sensor that allows doctors to distinguish between different types of infections in real-time, thus allowing them to curb the use of ineffective drugs.

The investment will be used for research and development for the project.

Dr Bob Pollard, chief executive of Causeway Sensors, said the team recently took a strategic decision to focus their technology on applications in the medical diagnostics market.

"This investment validates this new strategy and we look forward to growing our team, developing the technology and exploring new market opportunities," he added.

William McCulla of Invest NI said Causeway is a "great example" of a company which has used a range supports to develop its products.

In October 2016, Causeway Sensors availed of a £500,000 investment from Kernel Capital to develop nano-structured chips for detecting and measuring proteins. Jayne Brady of Kernel Capital said: "Causeway's applied research builds on Northern Ireland's world-class leadership in this domain, and they now have the capability to meet a global need in delivering an innovative and efficient point of care system."

Kernel Capital Growth Fund is designed to help SMEs here accelerate their growth and Invest NI has committed £15m to the fund, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Invest NI's R&D support is part funded under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme.

Irish Independent

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