Professor Gerry Byrne founded GB Innovation in 2014, as one of Ireland's most senior international engineers who has been actively involved in basic, applied and industrial R&D and Innovation for over 30 years.

The story of GB Innovation

Gerry's distinguished career in R&D and Innovation is vast. He has served as; College Principal for Engineering & Architecture at UCD, founder of the "Advanced Manufacturing Research Science Group" (AMS) in 1993, Division Lead in Corporate R&D in Daimler Benz AG in Germany, Expert on the Irish Revenue Panel for R&D Tax Credits, Board member of the Research Technology Innovation (RTI) Board of Enterprise Ireland, High-Level Commission Member for the Excellence University Strategy Germany (allocation of €4.5bn funding), IDA 2017-2022 Strategic Plan Team Member, Irish representative on the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB), Advisor to the President of IT Sligo, Advisor to the President of DCU, Founding Fellow and Past President of the Irish Academy of Engineering,  Fellow and Past President of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), and Senior Advisor and Advisor to the President of Fraunhofer-Gesellsehaft in Germany.


Gerry has been internationally recognised for his efforts. He holds an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding international contribution as an innovator in engineering from the Technological University, Dublin. He was awarded the Golden Ring of the German Society of Engineering (VDI) in recognition of his outstanding insights into the fundamentals of material removal mechanisms and surface engineering in subtractive advanced manufacturing processes. Professor Byrne is a Honorary Professor at Tianjin University, China where he contributes to their advanced manufacturing research programme. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Taylor Research Medal of the Society of  Manufacturing Engineers, USA in recognition of his outstanding research contributions to Manufacturing Systems Development. In 2017, Professor Byrne was awarded the Fraunhofer Taler Medal by the President of Fraunhofer for his outstanding international contribution to applied (higher TRL level) R&D and Innovation.


Throughout his career, Gerry observed that the field of Industrial R&D and Innovation Management was at an early, stage and that in stark contrast to the other areas of any company where operational excellence is well established, research, development and innovation work is not characterised by clear and measurable business processes.

He founded GB Innovation in 2014 to address the challenges observed and to assist companies drive the field of Industrial R&D Management to a higher level of maturity. Initially working in an R&D consulting capacity, Gerry pitched the idea for his business to his son David Byrne, and his hypotheses regarding  R&D Management to his daughter Fiona Sammler (Professor of Manufacturing and Technical Fundamentals and University of Applied Sciences Berlin) and from there GB Innovation was born.

GB Innovation and the world of RD&I

The effective management of industrial research, development and innovation (RD&I) is a challenge for SMEs, Large Companies, MNCs and their top-management teams. This work is by its nature random, uncertain, creative, complex, and the associated business processes are most often bespoke. The majority of companies globally have an unstructured RD&I environment, lacking a roadmap to business excellence. Without a clear R&D or Technological roadmap, companies face frequent challenges such as;

  • Deciding on which R&D projects to progress
  • Inefficient and non-robust R&D Tax Incentive claims and/or other government funding claims
  • Inadequate knowledge transfer & IP management
  • Distinguishing R&D from other business processes (New product Development, Design, Engineering)
  • Establishing RD&I processes and metrics
  • R&D project execution and failure management

In summary, for companies across the globe, R&D and Innovation is difficult to measure and manage. Through GB Innovation's large network globally, it is clear that there are no other end-to-end supporting mechanisms, services or software tools available to systematically measure, improve and manage the performance of R&D and Innovation activities within companies.

As a small team, GB Innovation developed an ambitious commercial and technical roadmap to address its mission statement: to professionalise the undertaking and management of RD&I in enterprises/organisations through the deployment of a structured, systematic software toolkit.

Through intensive work strengthening the R&D and Innovation capability of over 50 companies in Ireland, and strong global network, GB Innovation developed a scalable methodology to drive forward the field of R&D and Management: the ReaDI-Watch© Platform and Research Readiness Level© Index.



Gerry Byrne


Gerry Byrne

Professor Gerry Byrne is one of Ireland’s most senior international engineers and has been actively involved in applied R&D and Innovation for over 30 years.  A brief overview of his positions and accomplishments:

  • Former College Principal for Engineering and Architecture and Dean of Engineering at University College Dublin
  • Senior Advisor to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the worldwide leading applied research organisation
  • Expert on the Irish Revenue Panel for R&D Tax Credits and also on the Research, Development and Innovation Board of Enterprise Ireland (RTI)
  • Member of high level commission responsible for overseeing the Excellence University Initiative in Germany which distributed  €4.5billion in research funding for the coming 5 year period
  • Awarded the Fraunhofer Taler Medal for his outstanding international contribution to applied R&D and Innovation

Dave Byrne

Board Member, R&D and Innovation Specialist

  • Founder & CEO ReaDI-Watch Ltd.
  • R&D and Innovation Strategy Specialist
  • RD&I Management Frameworks, Culture Development & Resource Specialist
  • RD&I Investment, Due Diligence & Performance Analyst
  • R&D Funding Proposals & Reporting (Grants, R&D Tax Credits)
  • Commerce International (UCD), Msc. Finance (UCD Michael Smurfit)

Aisling Malone

R&D Consultant

Aisling Malone
  • Technology innovation and food manufacturing practices and systems
  • Change management and project management
  • Leading, managing and coaching teams, including high performing team management
  • Business commercials and product commercialisation through systematic R&D processes
  • Broad experience working with external academic and regulatory bodies and internal cross functional teams to assess, sell into the business, deliver viable NPD and manufacturing processes
  • Lean manufacturing and customer manufacturing systems
  • Problem solving, risk assessment and root cause analysis techniques
  • R&D tax credit landscape and application processes

Sharon Keohane

Business Development and R&D Specialist

  • Sales professional with 20+ year's experience in FMCG industry
  • Held various roles in R&D, Project Management, Procurement, Sales and Account Management
  • Skilled in Account and Relationship management and adept and finding new business leads and converting them into clients
  • A UCC Food Science graduate, alo holds a Diploma in Packaging from the Institute of Packaging in the UK

Peter Robertson

Innovation Specialist


  • 25 years within the Operational and Technical space of multiple industries.
  • Studied in London, BA Honours Degree in Business and Printing Technology returned to Ireland in 1996.
  • 12 years in De La Rue moving up to the position of Technical Manager reporting to the group CEO.
  • Diploma in Environmental Management (DipEM)
  • 12 years in ATA Group starting as Group Operations Manager heading up two facilities
  • Promoted to Divisional General Manager of the Pneumatic Tool Division in 2013
  • Promoted to Chief Technical Officer in 2016 heading up six facilities throughout Ireland, UK, US and Germany employing 400+ people.
  • Over the past 12 years been significantly involved in several acquisitions across the US, UK and EU.
  • Working with GB Innovation advising and consulting with companies on Innovation and Strategy.



Pat Scanlan

Software Development

  • Over 30 years of commercial experience in research and development and innovation primarily in the telecommunications and software industry
  • BSc in Applied Mathematics, University of Limerick, 1984, and
    MSc in Technology Management, UCD, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School 2000
  • Has worked for several leading multinationals as well as start-ups, in roles varying from software and systems engineering to systems and product management
  • Senior Member of IEEE



Martin Curley

R&D Consultant

  • Highly experienced R&D manager
  • Previously Vice-President at Intel Corporation/GM of Intel Labs Europe
  • Led Intel's research and innovation engagement with the European Commission
  • Held management and research positions with General Electric in Ireland and Philips Electronics in the Netherlands



Fiona Sammler

R&D Consultant

  • Former Professor of Manufacturing and Technical Fundamentals and University of Applied Sciences Berlin, PhD in manufacturing technology from the Technical University Berlin
  • 10 years experience in the German and European RD&I ecosystem, both at universities (fundamental R&D) and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (applied RD&I)
  • Expert in R&D funding on national and international levels
  • Experience in leading large project consortia in RD&I projects

Gisela Byrne

Administrative support & controlling

Gisela Byrne
  • Masters of Education, Queen's University
  • Over 20 years experience in sourcing of literature and databases in academic library settings
  • Referencing to current standards
  • Online learning

Garret O'Donnell

R&D Consultant

  • Professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Research in advanced manufacturing technology, process monitoring, sensing, control of HPC operations
  • Experience with biomedical, automotive and aeronautical industries
  • Associate member of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP)