On 2 November 2020, AquaB Nanobubble Innovations Ltd (AquaB), a UCD spin-out company won the Water Award category, which it was shortlisted for in the 2020 Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards earlier this academic year. AquaB was one of two Irish entries shortlisted for these awards which celebrate excellence in chemical, process and biochemical engineering, and the only Irish company to win.

The research behind AquaB’s new method of creating nano-bubbles of gases in aqueous solutions was carried out by Professor Niall English and Dr Mohammad Reza Ghaani, AquaB’s co-founders, at the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. This technology has great potential to be applied to industries such as water treatment, disinfection, agriculture and more.

The company is supported by NovaUCD, the hub for innovation at UCD. At NovaUCD there are purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. AquaB will participate in this year’s VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme which is held at Nova UCD. BioSimulytics, another UCD spin-off which was co-founded by Professor English, won the 2019 Programme.

Professor English was “delighted [that the start-up was] … recognised for its global impact potential by winning a prestigious IChemE Global Award.”. He recognises this as a “reflection of strong international interest in [their] core nano-bubble-generation technology” and “a significant endorsement for [the] Irish start-up, especially given the international competition, from well-established research organisations and companies, in [the Water] Award category.”  In the future, AquaB “plans to develop and supply nanobubble generators [and] license the nanobubble technology worldwide”.

Eimear Dowling – Business Writer