DCU Licence Express Scheme:
Removing barriers to doing business

This scheme is designed to make available to industry certain early stage technologies which have been developed as a result of research carried out at Dublin City University and for which the route to market, or time to market, is currently unclear or dependent on other enabling technological or regulatory developments.  In each case patents have been granted or are pending.  As part of DCU’s collaborative approach to working with industry and in the spirit of Open Innovation, DCU is offering licences to potential licensees on conditions set out below. This scheme is designed to speed up the time it takes to conclude a licence and to make it easier for the entrepreneur to conclude an arms length licence. This scheme will not apply to on-going collaborative research projects funded substantially by DCU or state agencies or to licences to spin-out companies where DCU’s research infrastructure, staff and research expertise are required. Normal business discussions on a case by case basis and more complete licence agreements will still be used.

Principal Conditions

  • An outline business plan or development proposal should be submitted to DCU which should indicate how the invention will be exploited with particular reference to the benefit for the Irish economy. Benefits may include continuing research and development in Irish based companies, creation of new jobs or support of existing jobs or increased exports for Irish based companies. DCU shall not be obliged to accept any proposal submitted.
  • No up-front licence fees will be due at the time the licence is signed nor will there be any milestone payments or royalty payments due during the initial development and sales period of four years.
  • A flat royalty rate of 1% of net sales will apply after the four year royalty free period.
  • DCU will not licence any patents under this scheme to patent aggregators or patent assertion companies. We intend that the licences will be granted to companies whose main business is the exploitation and development of technology through the manufacturing and sale of related products.
  • Technology will not be assigned to licensees under this fast track scheme.

For more information on the scheme, please contact Richard Stokes, Director of Innovation at DCU    Tel: 00 353 1 700 6188


Optical Probe
A handheld optical probe for the detection of chemical and bio-chemical analytes.  The design of the probe enables highly efficient capture of luminescence resulting in improvements in detection performance of one to two orders of magnitude compared with conventional optical fibre-base sensor probes. The optical probe has been successfully demonstrated for the detection of dissolved oxygen, dissolved carbon dioxide and in-breath oxygen analysis and is suitable for use in a range of applications including: breath analysis, environmental, bioprocess and industrial process monitoring.
Pending application: EP
Granted in: US
Published as:
WO2008029298 US8,163,241


Biodegradable Solvents for the Chemical Industry
This invention relates to ionic liquid (ILs) based biodegradable solvents for chemical and pharmaceutical synthesis.  These ionic liquids, which are based on an alkyl-imidazolium cation core, have enhanced biodegradability and reduced toxicity relative to existing imidazolium based ILs.  ILs may be used as green solvents for the chemical, pharmaceutical, biofuel and biomass industries.
Pending applications: EP and US
Published as:
WO2009024607 US20110201824

Ionic Liquid Solvents (Chiral)
This invention relates to chiral ionic liquids (CILs) which may be used as novel solvents, in particularly for organic synthesis. The CILs have the potential to induce asymmetry into substrates or catalysts in a variety of organic transformations. A number of the compounds have low antimicrobial and low antifungal toxicities and are also biodegradable.
Pending applications: EP and US
Published as:
WO2010097412 US2012071661

Information and Communications Technology

Shape Matching Method for Indexing and Retrieving Multimedia Data (L'OUEVRE)
Image matching algorithms that allow indexing and searching of multimedia data for a target image.  The algorithms have been designed to be robust i.e. to work even when there are variations in the shapes (e.g. rotation) and not to be computationally intensive so that they can be widely deployed.  This invention enables next generation search where images can be retrieved from an image database or video sequence based on accurate matching to the target image, rather than traditional text search, which requires images to be labelled.
Granted in: US
Published as:

Ultra Compact Aperture Controlled Depth from Defocus Range Sensor
An innovative technique to determine depth information in digital images through simple adjustment of the aperture settings.  The 3D digital imaging solution uses mathematical algorithms to determine depth information from the relative blur of two digital photos.  The algorithms have been designed so that they can be implemented on a standard smart phone or digital camera.  Possible target markets include medical devices or manufacturing.
Pending application: US
Published as:

A Synchronized Collaborative Searching Environment with Collaborative Relevance Feedback
Collaborative search algorithms to allow multiple users, independent of location, to carry out shared searches more effectively than as individuals.  This technology could enhance web browsing effectiveness especially for online search engine and website providers.
Pending application: US
Published as:

Ultrasound Arterial Diameter Estimation Tool
The ultrasound measurement tool is designed to allow medical practitioners to quickly and robustly assess the diameter and wall thickness of arteries from ultrasound images.  The innovation is based on novel image segmentation algorithms to delineate the arterial boundaries.  General-purpose segmentation algorithms have proven unreliable due to the noisy nature of ultrasound images.  This innovation replaces the current technology, which is both problematic and time consuming.  The software enables image capture and recording and allows for post analysis at an increased number of time points greatly improving the accuracy. 
Pending application: PCT
Published as:

Biomedical Diagnostics

A polymer biochip for highly efficient detection of fluorescence
The invention relates to an optical chip for detecting surface-generated fluorescence and optical sensor configurations that utilise an optical chip. This technology can be employed to detect biological analytes, such as antibodies and oligonucleotides, in an aqueous environment with high sensitivity and may be used for bio-diagnostics for example, “lab-on-a-chip” applications.
The invention describes a non-scanning multiplex SAF arrangement that specifically uses a moulded biochip where the SAF detection optics are integrated on-chip and the chip is disposable.
Granted in: US
Published as

Near infra-red dye-doped high-brightness nanoparticles
This invention describes silica nanoparticles loaded with molecules of near infra-red dye and derivatised with a functional group. The invention further describes a method for manufacturing the dye-doped nanoparticles and determining the percentage weight of the dye which yields a required relative florescent intensity from the nanoparticle. Silica nanoparticles provide a stable environment for the organic and inorganic dyes that is resistant to chemical attack and mechanical stress. They also provide a protective barrier from molecular quenchers. When incorporated into bio-diagnostic assays, the effects of photo-bleaching and quenching are minimised and assay sensitivity and limits of detection are significantly enhanced.
Patent Application pending in: US
Published as

A biochip reader using super critical angle fluorescence
This invention relates to 5 scanning systems and in particular, to a scanning system that provides for detection based on supercritical angle fluorescence (SAF). This technology was designed as a low-cost, compact and robust instrument for point of care usage and allows fast scanning and imaging of biochips for example, standard microscope slides. By using SAF in combination with a scanning arrangement it is possible to provide increased detection sensitivity and decreased limit of detection compared to conventional detection systems. This system can provide for multiplexed assay by combining a SAF-optical element and a scanning stage, which is particularly advantageous for point-of-care diagnostics.
Granted in: US
Published as