Axial3D has received the Innovator Award, launched by Catalyst as part of its INVENT Awards to recognise those who have used innovation to pivot and respond positively to the Coronavirus pandemic this year.

Axial3D, BlocBlinds, SureCert and Dr Tara Moore have all received the award for innovation that has helped to reduce the impact of the pandemic at a local, national and international level. Axial3D usually creates patient-specific models of human anatomy to assist surgeons in critical operations. But when the pandemic took hold, Axial3D repurposed experience and resources to help develop 3D printed parts for ventilators for the NHS, face shields for frontline workers, and 3D printed nasal swabs for testing for the virus as traditional stocks were depleted. 

Kerry McGarvey, INVENT programme manager at Catalyst, said: “This year we wanted to recognise and celebrate the companies and individuals who have stood up and stood out over the past six months in the face of unprecedented challenges. Those companies who have had to pivot, manage cashflow, manage people, adapt and show real resilience to not only survive but to make a real difference in society’s push back against the virus. All are worthy winners.”

Gavin Kennedy, head of business banking NI from Bank of Ireland, added:  “Through our customers, business community partnerships and our Begin Together programme we have seen the incredible impact and achievements that can be accomplished when we come together with a common purpose to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. Bloc Blinds, SureCert, Axial3D and Professor Tara Moore are exemplars of this through the powerful combination of their passion, resilience, determination and skill. This, alongside having a very clear purpose and vision, has resulted in the realisation of their innovations, which is delivering a significant positive impact in the local and global fight against Covid and reflects the true enterprising spirit of businesses and individuals across Northern Ireland.”

Organised by Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, Invent is an annual competition that supports, recognises and rewards local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential. The main showcase event will take place virtually on October 8.

 


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