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Causeway Sensors Ltd

18th January 2017

Reasons for Project

The company identified an opportunity to investigate biological coupling schemes to nanostructured surfaces for the detection of proteins.  The aim of the project was to establish an understanding of a suitable base layer for the detection system and then to identify protocols for the detection of specific proteins which would be of interest to academic and industrial researchers.  The technology can be used for detecting cancer and other diseases in their early stages. 

The Project

In October 2015 Causeway Sensors Limited were offered £98,600 of grant support for their ‘Coupling schemes for nanostructured chips’ project through the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.  The company has created prototypes of an instrument that can be used by academics to identify protein detection.  The purpose of the Research and Development project is to investigate a detection system that will complement the instrument and tailor its use to areas of key interest to researchers in the field of drug discovery.

Results and summary of benefits realised

As a result of the technology developed in the Research and Development and project progress the company secured funding through the Development Fund which is also ERDF funded; Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI), £500,000 in June 2016.  The company will use this investment to commercialise the technology both nationally and internationally and in turn create employment for the NI economy.

How did ERDF funding, through the EU Investment for Growth & Jobs Programme, contribute to the success of the project/scheme?

The R&D project would not have proceeded without ERDF funding as the company did not have the financial resources to recruit the necessary researchers.  The ERDF funding therefore enabled the employment of two researchers and for the project to proceed.

Causeway Sensors will use this investment to commercialise its technology, with an initial focus on the growing area of medical diagnostics.

“The investment from Kernel will help Causeway to develop the potential of its nanotechnology, and to grow and scale both nationally and internationally, while also stimulating the local economy and creating new employment opportunities in areas where Northern Ireland has world class leadership.” Jayne Brady, Kernel Capital

The company hosted a visit in November 2016 by Tamara Pavlin, UK Desk Officer, EU Commission to hear at first-hand how the project is progressing.

Future plans 

Causeway Sensors has developed Intellectual Property for the product and will continue to develop the prototype to ensure it is desirable for customers to purchase.


Left to right Breandan Hill, Bob Pollard (CEO), John Nelson, Robert Bowman and Antony Murphy.   Robert and John are the founders of the company.
Left to right Breandan Hill, Bob Pollard (CEO), John Nelson, Robert Bowman and Antony Murphy. Robert and John are the founders of the company.