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DIT researcher awarded Science Foundation Ireland funding for technology innovation

Posted: 5 May, 2017

Dr Toufic El Arnaout, a postdoctorate researcher at DIT, was awarded a Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) by Science Foundation Ireland.

Toufic el Arnaout - SFI TIDA

Toufic will work on constructing a next-generation monitoring probe for analysing particles in real time, for applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Less than 7-10% of small molecule pharmaceuticals reach the market each year. In addition, research and development returns in the pharmaceutical industry have been decreasing over the past five years. Failure to reach the market can be caused by manufacturing problems, for example process control, crystal forms, and this is where process analytical technology (PAT) can make a change, particularly if applied in-line, in real time.

Toufic is working on developing PAT methods for process and quality enhancement of particles including crystals in solution. The goal is that this new technology will support the crystallization industry in generating better powder and formulation, as well as supporting the polymorphism pharmaceutical industry in discovering more stable and enhanced drugs (crystal forms).

Toufic was one of five postdoctorate researchers to receive the TIDA Award this year.

The Science Foundation Ireland TIDA programme is run in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and supports researchers undertaking applied research projects that demonstrate potential for strong economic impact. Running since 2009, the TIDA programme provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities associated with their research on the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or service.