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INVENT is an annual competition that showcases and rewards local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential

Get tickets for the INVENT 2022 Awards Night

1st September, ICC Waterfront Belfast

What is INVENT

INVENT is an annual competition organised by Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, that recognises and rewards local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.

INVENT is an opportunity to gain high profile exposure, to validate your idea, to unlock a quality network of influencers and to win a share of the £47,000 prize fund. If you have come up with an innovative product or solution that you are passionate about then this is the competition for you.

INVENT Terms and Conditions.

Please note, applications for INVENT 22 have now closed.

INVENT Categories

This year, finalists' innovations will fit into one of the following five categories:

  • Greentech – Products, solutions and tech that enable a sustainable future.
  • Health and Wellbeing – Improving the quality of life through pushing the boundaries in life sciences, med tech and health promotion.
  • Product – A physical product designed and fabricated to offer the consumer or business a novel innovative solution.
  • Business Software – Computer software products or solutions used to satisfy the needs of an organisation rather than individual users.
  • Consumer Software – Consumer software is a class of commercial software that is sold directly to end-users as opposed to businesses.

For more information on categories, please see links below:

Who should apply?

Apply for the programme if:

  • You have an innovative solution to a problem.
  • You’re a student completing a course project that you know is the next big thing.
  • You have been working on cutting edge research and now want to commercialise.
  • You have a side project and are ready to take the next step.

Now is your time to put your innovation in the spotlight!

Why apply?

By applying for INVENT, you will:

  • Market validate your idea
  • Unlock a quality network of influencers
  • Fuel your growth
  • Get support with your pitch
  • Gain high profile exposure and recognition
  • Be in with a chance of winning a share of the £47,000 prize fund

Find out more about why you should apply for INVENT 22.

Winning INVENT was amazing because it really got our company name out there. It made people interested in StimOxygen and it’s given us a chance to communicate our science in a way that everybody can understand. Anybody who’s thinking about entering INVENT this year I would tell them to go for it because I had an amazing experience. The help, mentoring, and support you receive throughout the competition is second to none. It also gives you a great challenge to condense your story into three minutes to communicate it in the most effective way you can.

Sian Farrell, StimOxyGen - INVENT 2021 Overall Winner

The Invent journey gave me the confidence to take my product to the next step. The help provided by both the mentors and competition organisers was phenomenal. Invent is a fabulous opportunity, it allows you to meet and engage with other entrepreneurs while developing your communication and business skills along the way. From the initial application through to the final awards night, the competition is well organised, packed with useful workshops and mentoring sessions, it is an extremely worthwhile experience and one that I am glad to be part of.

Bridgeen Callan, Klas PDT Technology - Invent 2020 Overall Winner

2021 Winners

StimOxygen INVENT 2021 Winner | Health & Wellbeing Winner | Best Pitch
Anneal Business Software Winner
Stable Manager Consumer Software Winner
Tankcube Greentech Winner
Excavator Forklift Product Winner

Headline Partner

2022 Partners

The Catalyst Impact Award 2022

The award recognises an inspirational business leader who has significantly contributed to Northern Ireland by creating positive and inclusive economic and social impact from innovation.

We are seeking nominations of people who meet the following

  • Business Leadership – They are an inspirational business leader whose work and innovation has delivered positive:
  • Economic impact through job creation, skills and technology enhancement, production of goods and services and spend back into the local Northern Ireland economy.
  • Social impact where people and community’s use of their innovation has delivered positive change linked to Social Development Goals such as health & wellbeing, sustainability, inclusivity, equality, education & people development, climate, peace and partnerships which enable achievement of these.

Please note the minimum criteria required is that they must be:

  • An established Northern Ireland Senior Business Leader
  • The related business is established greater than 3 years and employs 20+ people
  • The Innovation was or is currently in use and has delivered significant positive economic and/or social impact

Nominations for the Catalyst Impact Award 2022 are now closed.

Innovation Founder

Brendan Monaghan named as winner of the 2021 Innovation Founder Award

The founder of Belfast-based technology company Neueda, Brendan Monaghan, has been named as Catalyst’s Innovation Founder for 2021 by a panel of Northern Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Now in its 12th year, the Bank of Ireland UK sponsored Innovation Founder award celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich history of innovation and is awarded to a person who has achieved success in founding, leading or building a celebrated local innovative business.

Following a nomination process, Brendan was unanimously chosen by a panel of past winners of the Innovation Founder award. Previous winners of the award include John Rainey MBE, James Leckey, Martin Naughton KBE, Dr William Wright CBE, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE, Tom Eakin, Dr Hugh Cormican, Prof John Anderson, Denis Murphy and Brian Conlon.

After a career working in software businesses including CEM Systems, BIC Systems and Kainos, Brendan and his co-founder David Bole started Neueda, a company which provides consultancy, analytics, training and software development to organisations across the public sector, utilities, financial services and the capital markets. Its customer base ranges from Dublin and London to Singapore and the United States.

The company grew from a startup based in Brendan’s house in 2006 into an organisation with a workforce of over 300 people, the majority of whom are based in Belfast. In June this year it was announced that Neueda had been acquired by Dublin-based software business Version 1.

Read the full story here.

Innovators Award - Invent 2020

Innovation Founders

Brendan Monaghan Innovation Founder 2021
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

Steering Team

Meg Magill Catalyst
Clare Passmore Chair
Colin Crangle Bank of Ireland UK
David Brownlee HSCNI
Paul McGuickin Carson McDowell
Bregeen Campbell Deloitte
John Macrae Ulster University
Jason Wiggins Queen's University Belfast
Neil Buchanan ECIT
Lewis Loane Torann
Julie Gray ViperClip
Bridgeen Callan Klas PDT Technology
Michael Shaw RPS
Kat Maguire Queen's University Belfast

Meet your Invent Programme Manager

Meg Magill

Meg Magill

INVENT Programme Manager

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