Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Invent is an annual competition to showcase local innovations and ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.



An innovative new technology that helps in the treatment of skin cancer has been named as the overall winner of the annual Northern Ireland INVENT Awards.

INVENT celebrates innovation in Northern Ireland and 2020 has been no different, during these extraordinary times we have moved online. We have seen an amazing number of local innovators compete through several stages and judged by a world-leading expert panel as they seek to win a share of the £33,000 prize fund.

Organised by Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, INVENT is an annual celebration of the brightest new business ideas in the region, which supports, showcases and rewards the local innovations that have the greatest commercial potential. The competition aims to shine a light on the creativity of local entrepreneurs and despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic more than 100 talented innovators applied for this year’s INVENT, with 12 finalists chosen to compete for the main prize.

While INVENT is normally a huge gathering of Northern Ireland’s innovation community, the team pivoted to make it a digital event due to Covid-19 restrictions, with teams pitching at the ICC Belfast’s hybrid studio and streamed live to a virtual audience. The easy to access online format increased engagement, with more than 1,500 people from around the world tuning in to hear from the entrepreneurs on the night.


Meet The 2020 Finalists



The INVENT Innovation Founder Award changed face this year in reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Three inspiring companies and one individual have been named as the recipients of the Innovators 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.

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

To be considered for the award, companies or individuals had to demonstrate how they had pivoted or developed their product or business in response to the pandemic, addressed a specific issue connected to coronavirus or collaborated in partnership to support rapid innovation.

Read more here

Previous Innovation Founder Winners:

  • 2019 Denis Murphy
  • 2018 John Rainey
  • 2017 James Leckey
  • 2016 Sir Martin Naughton
  • 2015 Brian Conlon
  • 2014 Dr William Wright
  • 2013 Dr Peter Fitzgerald
  • 2012 Tom Eakin
  • 2011 Hugh Cormican
  • 2010 Prof John Anderson


Awards category winners on the night were:  

  • Creative media and Consumer Internet – Sport Buff
  • Enterprise Software – Movetru
  • Life and Health Sciences – Klas PDT Technology
  • Agri Science – Stallion Services
  • Engineering- AJEA
  • Electronics – AntennaWare

In addition to the main awards, the 12 finalists took to the stage at ICC Belfast’s hybrid studio to give a live one-minute elevator pitch to win £1,000, with the virtual audience voting Truss Buddy the winner of best pitch. 

The winner of the Student INVENT competition was announced as Belfast-based Kezie Todd from Ulster University, who has developed Arcadia Report, an immersive mystery experience that transforms your city into an escape room via their rich story-telling platform.



We would like to say Thank You to all of our Sponsors and Partners for your continued support throughout the entire Invent 2020 competition, culminating in the final last night. A particular mention goes to our Headline Partner, Bank of Ireland UK, for helping to make this possible. If you missed the online event last night, watch the video below to hear why these companies continue to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.

We also want to give special mention and thanks to the Invent Steering Team, the mentors who generously provided their time to help the finalists throughout the process and the judges for each stage of the competition – Qualifying Rounds, Semi-Final and the Final.

Contact Information

Name: Kerry McGarvey


Tel: 07825165933

Invent Steering Team

Clare Passmore


Niamh Griffin

Bank of Ireland UK

David Brownlee


Paul McGuickin

Carson McDowell

Bregeen Campbell


John Macrae

Ulster University

Jason Wiggins

Queen's University Belfast

Neil Buchanan


Kathryn Laverty

Clever Fulton Rankin

Kathleen Garrett

TechStart NI

Lewis Loane


Julie Gray


Bridgeen Callan

Klas PDT Technology

Michael Shaw


David McHugh


Killian O'Rawe


Kat Maguire

Queen's University Belfast

Chris Shannon

Ulster University