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About the Invent Innovation Founder Award

The INNOVATION FOUNDER recognises individuals who have achieved distinction for founding, leading, and/or advancing a Northern Ireland science or technology company.

These Nominees will have contributed to our region individually as a role model and through their organisations, having a positive impact on the NI economy and a global impact through their innovation.



The criteria for this year’s Innovation Founder is:

  • Have made a scientific or technical breakthrough that has resulted in a huge benefit to society.
  • They must have founded a corporation to commercialise it; or, founded a science or technology corporation that is a large employer in Northern Ireland.
  • Have an impact on NI economy
  • Have global impact through Innovation
  • Be a great Role Model


Innovator award 2020

The Innovation Founder Award changed face in 2020 in reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic and three inspiring companies and one individual were named as the recipients of the Innovators Award, to recognise those who used innovation to pivot and respond positively to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloc Blinds, Axial 3D, SureCert and Dr Tara Moore received the award for innovation that helped to reduce the impact of the pandemic at a local, national and international level.

Innovator Awards Alumni

Bloc Blinds ~ SureCert ~ Axial 3D ~ Dr Tara Moore Innovators Awardees 2020
Denis Murphy Innovation Founder 2019
John Rainey MBE Innovation Founder 2018
James Leckey Innovation Founder 2017
Martin Naughton KBE Innovation Founder 2016
Brian Conlon Innovation Founder 2015
Dr William Wright CBE Innovation Founder 2014
Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE Innovation Founder 2013
Tom Eakin Innovation Founder 2012
Dr Hugh Cormican Innovation Founder 2011
Prof John Anderson Innovation Founder 2010

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