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NCI reaches ENFUSE finals

NCI's 2023 ENFUSE team and supportersGuarav, Team NCI; Teresa Murray, Head of Communications, NCI; Akashdip Neogi, Team NCI ; Mayank Pokhriyal, Team NCI; Dr Anu Sahni, Team NCI Lecturer; Rohit Prasanna Kumar, Team NCI; Enda McDonnell, Regional Director Dublin for Enterprise Ireland and one of the ENFUSE judges; Andrew Keogh, Communications Consultant, Aristo; Diya Srivastava, Team NCI; Gerard Horn, owner George Horn gloves; Madni Ali Hussain, Team NCI. Team NCI are all undertaking the MSc in Artificial Intelligence at National College of Ireland.

Minister of State Emer Higgins, with responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, welcomed all finalists to the ENFUSE Awards at Dublin’s City Hall on Thursday 23rd May:

“Congratulations to the Enterprises, Master’s Students, Lecturers and Universities involved in this year’s ENFUSE finals. ENFUSE brings students, local enterprises, social enterprises, and stakeholders together with a shared goal: innovation. By promoting this collaboration, ENFUSE facilitates the development of impactful solutions. Local enterprises and social enterprises gain invaluable access to research and new ideas, while students are empowered by hands-on, real-world learning experiences. ENFUSE exemplifies the power of collective effort, driving positive change and fostering a culture of innovation for the benefit of all.”

Only 8 teams made the final cut

This year’s competition saw the participation of 69 teams. National College of Ireland was exceptionally proud to be selected in the final 8.

NCI was matched with George Horn. Making bespoke gloves using traditional techniques, George Horn is home to Ireland’s last master glovemaker. As well as selling custom-made gloves, George Horn is involved in the training and education of leather crafters to ensure these skills are not lost, and also uniquely serves a specific clientele: people who have lost a hand and find it difficult to get a pair of gloves that fit well without drawing attention to their amputation or prosthetic.

Engaging enthusiastically and ably with the priorities and challenges of George Horn, NCI students created software that allows remote customers to send incredibly accurate hand measurements to the glovemaker, including automatically classifying amputations/prosthetic hands, without further need of explanation from the customer. This reduces waste, where a pair of gloves are misfit due to inaccurate measurement taking by the client; automates this element of the process, saving time; and opens-up an international market.

Gerard Horn, third-generation business-owner, commented: 

“This project has the potential to transform the high-quality leather glove market worldwide. George Horn now has the opportunity to be a global market leader in the online sale of gloves tailored to a client’s unique hand dimensions.”

Professor Paul Stynes, Dean of NCI’s School of Computing said:

“I’m exceptionally proud of how well our team performed. Most ENFUSE teams this year came from business and marketing disciplines, so to see a computing team from NCI, using an Artificial Neural Network as part of their technological solution to a real world business challenge, advance to the final was gratifying. I want to especially thank Dr Anu Sahni, Programme Director for the MSc in Data Analytics and Assistant Professor in Computing, who is a knowledge transfer champion for NCI, and always supports and challenges her students in equal measure. Dr Sahni integrated this opportunity to work with a real world business into her module in the MSc in AI programme: Data Analytics for Artificial Intelligence.”

Meet the NCI team

The NCI MSc AI students reaching the highly competitive finals of ENFUSE at Dublin City Hall, were (with links to LinkedIn):
Akashdip Neogi
Madni Ali Hussain
Rohit Prasanna Kumar
Diya Srivastava
Mayank Pokhriyal

NCI presenting at Dublin City Hall, ENFUSE finals 2024

Congratulations to the winning team
A team from TCD took first prize and were presented with a specially commissioned perpetual trophy that their university will host for the next 12 months. The students conducted research and analysis regarding Ei Travel Group. The team formed insights, proposed solutions and ultimately presented a tangible plan setting out how Ei Travel Group can expand and develop new market opportunities. Through the use of tools like the triple diamond model, and empathetic interviews, the team created key personas to be utilised by the enterprise in developing better relationships with their clientele.

The top 3 teams at the ENFUSE Finals 2024 were as follows: 

1st Place
Team: Conor McIntyre, Aparna Keegan, Elaine Collins, David Cook, Kim Laglagaron, Nicola Bloger, Finola Roache
Client Enterprise: Ei Travel Group
Lecturer: Dr. Ronika Chakrabarti
University/College: Trinity College Dublin 

2nd Place
Team: Mohamed Ali, Margarite Foran, Jacques Barnard, Aaron Ram
Client Enterprise: The Meath Foundation
Lecturer: Joe Houghton
University/College: UCD 

3rd Place
Team: Emma Brassanini, Cian Owens, Sydney Goldsmith-Powell, Kanishk Bhan, Juliette Zonens, Kara Anders
Client Enterprise: Rare Jewellery
Lecturer: Dr. Stephen Murphy
University/College: Trinity College Dublin 

Promoting the benefits to enterprises that participate, Greg Swift, Head of Enterprise with LEO Dublin City commented: 

“Supporting local businesses has always been at the heart of the Local Enterprise Office. It’s our commitment to driving the economic growth of Dublin. ENFUSE represents another stride forward in this endeavour, delivering fresh, dynamic, and innovative solutions to everyday challenges. By leveraging the incredible talent of our students, we empower businesses with new perspectives, ensuring a stronger, wiser, and more progressive future for all.”

More about ENFUSE

Now in its 6th year, ENFUSE matches local SMEs, micro enterprises and social enterprises with teams of Master’s students. Teams develop and present bespoke plans to their allocated enterprises to implement and to their lecturer to assess. These plans outline ways for the business to address challenges they face and develop competitive opportunities to expand. 

The initiative is co-led by Dublin City Council and Local Enterprise Office Dublin City in collaboration with TU Dublin, DCU, NCI, UCD and TCD and is supported by and involves numerous regional stakeholders all aligned to the ambitions of the Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024 and the Dublin Regional Skills Forum Plan (an initiative of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science).

Overall, 8 student teams competed at this year’s ENFUSE Finals by pitching to expert industry judges on the plans they produced. The 8 teams were shortlisted from a total of 69 teams that participated in ENFUSE 2024. The top three teams won specialist mentoring and training supports from the Local Enterprise Office and a Skills Audit from the Dublin Regional Skills Forum for their allocated enterprises, along with prizes from Dublin Place Brand.  

The ENFUSE Finals was the culmination of this year’s ENFUSE programme which involved 454 master’s students that supported 69 local enterprises and social enterprises. ENFUSE is led by Dublin City Council (DCC) / Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City in collaboration with Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin); Dublin City University (DCU); National College of Ireland (NCI); University College Dublin (UCD) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). It is supported by and operated in alignment with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, South Dublin and Fingal County Councils and their respective Local Enterprise Offices, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER); Dublin Place Brand; the Dublin Regional Skills Forum (DRSF); Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS); Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024; Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Enterprise Ireland; GradStart and the European Year of Skills.

Further information on ENFUSE: 

Further information on the MSc Data Analytics at NCI:

NCI ENFUSE team 2024