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

What Is Invent?

The Invent competition has been widely recognised as one of the best opportunities for innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.

It’s an opportunity to gain high-profile exposure; to validate your idea and to unlock a quality network of influencers. There’s also a prize fund of £33,000 shared by the winners. Your innovation or proof of concept idea must fit into one of the following categories:

  • Life & Health Sciences
  • Enterprise Software
  • Creative Media & Consumer Internet
  • Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Agri-Science

Apply here


Invent provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain high profile exposure and recognition and to market validate their ideas. If you have come up with a product idea that you are passionate about then this is the competition for you. Submit your application here. If you want to find out more about Invent 2020 or have any queries please email Programme Manager Kerry McGarvey.

You will get support throughout the process including support from mentors with a range of valuable experience.

Invent Awards Night 2020

The Awards Night will see more than 700 business executives, entrepreneurs, investors and student innovators join together for our evening of networking, great food, elevator pitches and presentation of the Invent awards including the innovation founder.

Join us on Thursday 8th October 2020 to be truly inspired in what is Northern Irelands biggest night of innovation.

Apply here

Key Dates 2020

24th April: New closing date for applications

W/C 27th April: Briefing information online & circulated to successful applicants

8th May: Qualifying Round Video pitches uploaded

W/C 11th May: Virtual Qualifying Rounds – Judging

18th May: Finalists announced

June- August: Finalist Programme to include workshops/ webinars and information sessions

September: Final Pitches

8th October: Invent Awards Night at ICC, Belfast

Contact Information

Name: Kerry McGarvey


Tel: 07825165933

Invent 2019 Winners

Electronics & Overall Winner

Signal Optimiser

Read More Info

Creative Media and Consumer Internet Winner

Read More Info

Life & Health Science Winner


Read More Info

Engineering Winner

Concrete Jungle

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Enterprise Software Winner

Obbi Solutions

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Agri Science Winner


Read More Info

Innovation Founder Award

The INVENT Innovation Founder Award is Catalyst’s highest honour, celebrating individual success stories that continue to inspire future generations of innovators and entrepreneurs. The Innovation Founder 2019 Award was awarded to NI tech pioneer Denis Murphy, co-founder and CEO of cloud service company Anaeko.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in IT and mobile telecoms, founding and managing a number of locally based tech companies including Apion and Mobile Cohesion. Recipients have achieved distinction over the years for founding, leading, or advancing a Northern Irish life sciences or technology-based business organisation. Such entrepreneurs have contributed to our region individually and through their organisations to the business sectors that shape our local economy and improve our quality of life.

Previous 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

Invent Steering Team

Clare Passmore


David Brownlee

HSC Innovations

Neil Buchanan


Robyn Wilson

TechStart NI

Niamh Griffin

Bank of Ireland

John Macrae

Ulster University

Paul McGuickin

Carson McDowell

Jason Wiggins


Bregeen Campbell