Press release

Invention that translates brainwaves into control signals wins top prize at the IET Innovation Awards

15 November 2018

Londonderry-based start-up NeuroCONCISE scooped the new top prize at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards last night.

They were awarded the IET and E&T Magazine Innovation of the Year for their wearable, AI-enabled neurotechnology platform that translates brainwaves into control signals.

The technology uses brain-computer interface that translates changes in the brain associated with imagination of movement or perceiving a stimulus into commands that allow the user to specify actions or communicate without moving. The technology can be embedded and concealed in any standard headwear, and gives the user a high degree of interaction without physical movement.

To date, the technology has enabled a spinal injured person to compete in the first championship for athletes with disabilities: Cybathlon 2016; and has the potential to determine consciousness in patients in a persistent vegetative state.

The innovation also won the Start-up category at the awards ceremony on 14 November, whose judging panel said:

“The judges were particularly impressed with the innovation and its promise to help improve the quality of life of 'locked-in' patients.”

Other innovations winning prizes at the awards included inventions to improve healthcare treatment, repair power networks, alert the need for structural repairs and generate renewable energy.

Professor Damien Coyle, CEO of NeuroCONCISE Ltd, said: “I am delighted to receive these awards from the IET. I have been reading the E&T magazine since it was launched and its daily updates keep me abreast of many new and amazing innovations in engineering and science across many domains. To receive the IET and E&T Innovation of the Year award is therefore extremely humbling and it is a privilege to be recognised in this way from such a distinguished institution.

“The recognition provided by these awards will undoubtedly help NeuroCONCISE Ltd accelerate product development and drive our ambition to deliver new augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and assistive technologies to people who need them most. Next week we pitch in the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition all-island final, to say we have just received this amazing recognition will certainly boost our pitch.”

IET President Mike Carr OBE, said: “Our Innovation Awards put the achievements of the most outstanding engineering and technology inventors around the world into the spotlight and play a critical role in helping them advance their vital work.

“Innovation is an essential foundation for the growth of the global economy and for raising the standard of living in all communities. It is a key differentiator that makes companies and projects successful and, in keeping with the IET’s mission to inspire excellence in engineering and technology, we are immensely proud to recognise, celebrate and show our support for these exceptional achievements.”

The 2018 IET Innovation Award winners are:

  • IET and E&T Innovation of the Year - NeuroCONCISE Ltd for their wearable, AI-enabled neurotechnology platform that translates brainwaves into control signals. This innovation also won the Start-up category.

  • Communications - Wave2Wave Solution, for their Robotic Optical Management Engine (ROME) that automates the configuration of physical fibre layer connections in data centres and optical networks.

  • Cyber Security – dstl, for their Cyber Red Team Training Game, that exploits gamification science, requires no IT to run and has no security classification requirement.

  • Emerging Technology Design – Sonobex Limited, for development of noise control technologies using acoustic metamaterials.

  • Healthcare Technologies – University College London, for their work on tracking viruses in space and time

  • Information Technology – University of Cambridge for a virtual 3D space that detects defects in concrete bridges and maps them onto digital "twins", helping management of repair work

  • Intelligent Systems – Viper Innovations Ltd, for “CableGuardian”, a device that uses intelligent algorithms and IOT architecture to provide real-time system fault information in the power network

  • Manufacturing Technology – Temboo, for their code generation technology, that simplifies updating of legacy systems

  • Model-Based Engineering – Orbital Marine Power Ltd, for the hydrodynamic modelling techniques used in their floating tidal turbines

  • Power and Energy – Orbital Marine Power Ltd, for their floating tidal turbine, that has generated reliable electricity for 365 continuous days since its installation.

  • Sustainability – Arup, for their bladeless ventilation system, which saves up to 65% electricity consumption compared to mechanical fans

  • Technology Transfer – Power & Water, for sustainable water treatment, that uses electrolysis and ultrasound and removes the need for hazardous liquid chemicals.

  • Transport – Jaguar Land Rover, for their work on smart and intelligent surfaces, integrating the customer interaction surface with structural electronics.

  • Young Innovators – Creavo Medical Technologies, for compact magnetometers for analysing the heart's magnetic field, improving both sensitivity and resolution of MCG devices

- Ends -

Press enquiries:

Hannah Kellett
01438 767 336

Notes to editors:

  • Pictures of the winners and citations are available on request.

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  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.

  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.

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