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


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.

The awards night will capture our 12 finalists’ journey, showcasing them through exciting videos and the popular elevator pitches before announcing the winners of 2020.

This year we created a special new category, the ‘2020 Innovators Award’ which will celebrate how local companies and innovation communities have collaborated, pivoted and leaned into the challenges COVID-19 presented.

Supported by Bank of Ireland UK, join us online for 90 minutes of excitement and a true celebration of innovation in Northern Ireland. The event is free to attend.

DATE: THURSDAY 08 0CTOBER 2020 | TIME: 18:00 – 19:30 BST | VENUE: ONLINE


Meet The 2020 Finalists

Read about the finalists here


This year we have another stellar judging panel for the INVENT 2020 Finals. The Panel includes:

The Final Judging panel are:
Michael Black (Chair )
Gavin Kennedy – Bank of Ireland UK
Killian O’Rawe- Allstate NI
David McHugh – Seagate
Michael Shaw- RPS
Hillary Griffith – CFR
Leona McAllister – PlotBox
Leeann Monk-Ozgul – Elemental


Nominations for our 2020 Innovator Award are now closed. At this year’s INVENT Awards we want to recognise businesses of all shapes & sizes who have used innovation to respond to the Pandemic.

Key Dates 2020

24th April: Closing date for applications

27th April – Shortlisting and Briefing

11th May-15th May  – Qualifying Rounds

18th May – Semi-Finalists Announced

1st June-5th June – Semi-Final

15th-19th June – Mentor Day

22nd-26th June – Funding Workshop

31st July – Business Plan Submission

19th August – Student Invent

25th-27th August – Final Pitches

8th October – Awards Night

Contact Information

Name: Kerry McGarvey


Tel: 07825165933

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