NovoGrid, a new engineering venture, has been declared overall winner of the 2014 University College Dublin (UCD) VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme. NovoGrid has developed an intelligent control system to enable wind-farm owners reduce energy losses associated with the transfer of electricity to national grids thereby assisting them to improve energy efficiencies and to increase revenues. It is estimated that wind-farm owners lose up to 10% of their daily revenues, due to energy losses associated with the delivery of their energy production to electricity grids. This equates to an estimated €2.3 billion in lost annual revenues for wind farm owners globally. With wind farms becoming more popular as an alternative source for generating electricity, it is estimated that such losses could triple by 2020. NovoGrid’s novel software-as-a-service solution can be used by wind-farm owners to optimally control operational set points, in real time, within wind-farm stations and intelligently exploit existing wind-farm capabilities to significantly reduce these energy losses, resulting in increased efficiencies and revenues. NovoGrid is a new venture emerging from research carried out over several years in the Electricity Research Centre at the UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering by co-promoters, Dr Andrew Keane and Dr Peter Richardson. Paul Manning, who has run his own energy services company for many years, and who has worked for several start-up companies in business development and market analysis roles, including the UCD spin-out company BiancaMed, is also a co-promoter of NovoGrid. Manning, an MBA graduate of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, said that following a planned field trial set for early next year, the company expects to be operational in over 10 wind farms in Ireland and in the UK during 2015. At the awards evening on 17 November, NovoGrid was presented with the 2014 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award and a cheque for €10,000 sponsored by AIB. In addition, the company also received a professional services package to the value of €15,000 sponsored by Bryan Maguire Business Consulting, Deloitte and NovaUCD. Prof Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “Excellence in research and innovation that delivers strong and meaningful impact is central to all we do in UCD. This was clearly displayed by all the early-stage ventures which participated on this year’s VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme. Through this programme, we’re supporting researchers to accelerate the establishment of research-based companies providing value-added products and services for the global market.” The overall objective of the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme is to support the creation, and to accelerate the launch, of sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD and NCAD, a recognised college of the University.The programme aims is to equip UCD and NCAD researchers with the knowledge, skills and understanding that is required to work as part of a team successfully leading a new commercial venture. A video, which provides a short overview of the commercialisation programmes available at UCD, including the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator, is available to view here.