The Hatchery of Ideas




The Inagh Valley Trust was established in 2008 with a mission to enhance society through enterprise, research and creative thinking’. The Trust’s goal is to identify societal issues where the energy of enterprise and insights of research have  positive lasting impacts. What has developed is a ‘Hatchery of Ideas’, which comprises a cluster of interconnected companies addressing the associated needs.

Focus has been on the following issues: the plight of the honey bee, reckless harvesting of tropical marine reefs, ‘We are what we eat’, and predictive medicine. In each case a company has been commercialised to provide alternative, responsible solution to these needs and through engagement with the research community further add value to established commercial platforms.

Connemara Food Ventures specialise in bio-active foods which convey wellness to an international consumer base. The company selects specific ingredients from Ireland’s natural resources which have proven health qualities and are developing a salt replacement for baking being scaled across the EU in 2016.

KoralSea has responded to the severe pressure on tropical reefs. The company addresses the market-led opportunity for branded, ethically produced live specimens and validated consumable  goods. Further value is being added to the company through molecular application of corals, for example in bone regeneration.

Ocean Fuel is building up a library of carbohydrate rich kelp species. Sea culture has multiple benefits, notably the cost-effectiveness of producing bio-ethanol, increasing bio-diversity and absorbing excess nutrients in our bays. The company has been scaled up at sea in the ‘extension’ of the hatchery at Cleggan Bay, Connemara.

Advance Science has produced a natural complementary feed for honey bees which strengthens and boosts colonies. HiveAlive™ is the only nutritional supplement for bees on the market that is 100% compliant with EU animal feed regulations and is FDA compliant.

Zoan Biomed, the latest development at the hatchery, addresses demands for natural biomaterials in orthobiologics. Corals create structures whose form and function are designed to support vibrant communities of cells. As fully resorbable and osteoconductive scaffolds, they induce bone formation and stimulate cellular vitality and proliferation.This company explores how corals and the natural world would design solutions to some of the most technical and challenging issues in orthobiologics, producing orthobiological scaffolds with hospitable and interconnected porosity.