UCD Physics student success at European ‘Scipreneur’ competition

31 October 2011

The Scipreneur Student Contest is a new initiative that has been set up by Intel that took place in Brussels on 17-18 October 2011.

Rhona Togher
Rhona Togher and team mates

It gathers 40 young people from all over Europe from both science and business backgrounds. 

The science participants are alumni of ISEF and the business participants are alumni of JA-YE Europe.

The aim of the competition is to show how well science and business marry together. The 40 participants were split into 10 groups of 4 and presented with a challenge. 

This was to use science, technology, engineering and maths to tackle a problem affecting society by creating a viable product with a positive impact. 

The groups were then given 24 hours to develop their product and business plan with the intention of presenting it later.

UCD Physics undergraduate and entrepreneur, Rhona Togher, was selected to go to the Scipreneur competition as an alumnus of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.

Rhona Togher
Rhona presenting in Brussels

Rhona says of the experience: "My team decided to tackle the issue of noise pollution. We developed a noise reduced fan motor which could be used in a variety of products, such as vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. 

We were shortlisted as one of the top three prizes and invited to present our product at a debate in the European Parliament. After further judging we were awarded second place over all. This was a huge achievement as the standard was phenomenal considering they were the brightest scientists and entrepreneurs in Europe with many already running their own businesses."

Rhona has already a significant track record in innovation. She, along with two classmates from the Ursuline College in Sligo, came second overall in the 2009 BT Young Scientists’ competition, for their ‘restored hearing’ project. Their company is now based in NovaUCD.