VARA clients success in securing over €2 Million R&D and Commercialisation funding

University Research clients of VARA Innovation Specialists have had an excellent run of successful funding applications and secured investment in 2020 following our proactive market engagement and customer discovery process and our ability to help draw out unique value-oriented insights.  

By way of example; VARA was engaged by Trinity College Dublin’s ADAPT Centre through the Enterprise Ireland (EI) Competitive Feasibility Fund (CFF) support mechanism to help understand the market and find opportunity for a recipe intelligence engine to transform the existing recipe ecosystem into a dynamic, engaging and personalised experience. The technology creates a firm link between shopping basket items and meals and personalises to customers and users own preferences and needs. Through that work, VARA gained fantastic insights from high profile organisations such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, BBC Good Food, Nielsen Brandbank, Ballymaloe and many others.

ADAPT Centre Startup and Business Development Manager Conor McNally said “We have a sizeable six figure tranche of funding to develop our technology which is largely down to VARA’s hard work in producing an excellent feasibility study” ADAPT Centre Senior Researcher and lead developer of the successfully funded project Dr. Eamonn Kenny who was invited to ‘go on the customer discovery journey’ with VARA Consultants commented “I learnt such a lot by talking to and more importantly listening to potential customers and hearing first hand why they needed our solution and what we needed to consider to make it really useful for them”

Another funded project example saw VARA client Munster Technological University (MTU)’s Nimbus Research Centre successful in attracting commercialisation funding from EI to develop a grid-connected smart energy system. The technology encompasses clever market-tracking electricity tariff cost prediction technologies used in conjunction with auxiliary battery and customer’s own electricity generation assets. The objective being to deliver energy to larger and smaller consumers at an optimal predicted cost schedule with more renewable contribution to the mix which mutually benefits both the users and the environment. Again, using the CFF instrument, VARA received useful feedback from Irish and International organisations such as Lidl, BNRG Renewables, Shannon Vale Foods and Naturgy among many others.

Commending the work VARA did for the Nimbus research team on the project, MTU’s commercialisation specialist Ronan Coleman said “securing trialling partners was key to  funding approval for us and this wouldn’t have happened without Kieran Fegan of VARA’s input” Nimbus senior research engineer, Dr Conor Lynch said “Kieran’s ability to get speaking with key decision makers and persuade them to get involved in a technology’s development is extraordinary”

VARA Innovation Specialists secured over €2 Million R&D / Commercialisation funding for University Researchers and SME clients in 2020. Additionally, and interestingly as a consequence of Covid, we are increasingly providing Innovation Management consultancy activities and commercialisation support to a growing number of international Governments and Universities online, as well as multinationals such as Roche.

Managing Consultant Kieran Fegan said “This is a fantastic space and time to be working at the interface of leading new technological advances and identifying companies with problems that are worth solving” “We are delighted to be the enabler for those technologies as they route forward to market and look forward to supporting the commercialisation of many more new innovative breakthroughs” VARA Innovation Specialists would be delighted to speak with any Irish or indeed international organisations who would like support with novel lean methodologies and new ways to support the commercialisation of technologies. Please contact us on