Seven Irish people, including NUI Galway student, Edel Browne, have been included in Forbes’s prestigious ‘30 under 30’ list of leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders for 2019.
The Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list is the ultimate recognition to young people who are leaving their mark on society. Making the list is no easy feat, thousands of applicants are judged by an expert panel of judges who ensure that each member is a leader in his or her industry. The list features 30 honourees across 10 categories from around Europe, all of whom are under 30 years old, who are helping to shape and improve society. Among those featured alongside Edel on this year’s list include actor, Daniel Radcliffe; musician, George Ezra and Irish rugby player, Peter O’Mahony.
At just 21 years of age, Edel is the youngest honouree in this year’s highly coveted Science and Healthcare category. Edel was recognised for her work on a project called Free Feet Medical, a device to treat gait freezing, a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, which began as a project for the BT Young Scientist Exhibition when she was just 15 years old. Edel has spent the last six years turning that invention into a product and a budding social enterprise that is now partnered with the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland.
She has also participated in the Washington Ireland Program, and has been heavily involved in student entrepreneurship at NUI Galway, where she has acted as Student Entrepreneur in Residence at LaunchPad, NUI Galway’s campus-based entrepreneurship program for the past three years. During her time with LaunchPad, Edel has been supported to develop her Free Feet business which addresses clinical challenge of treating Parkinson’s Disease and to also encourage other budding campus entrepreneurs.
Congratulating Edel on her remarkable achievement, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said:
“Edel’s selection on this impressive list of ‘30 Under 30’ is a wonderful endorsement of her talent and acumen. Here at her alma mater, we are proud of her achievements and we look forward to her continued success. She stands as an example to all students of how to make a difference ‘in’ the world and ‘for’ the world. Her ingenuity, intellectual curiosity and entrepreneurial skill combine to address the global challenge of Parkinson’s disease. And as an entrepreneur she has inspired and mentored many student innovators here at NUI Galway and far beyond.”
Having recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, Edel is currently an EY Scholar studying for a Masters of Science in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development at NUI Galway. “It is a huge honour to be included in the Forbes 30U30 this year. Since I started in NUI Galway in 2016 I have been hugely supported in every aspect of my journey both academically and through the LaunchPad with Free Feet Medical. I am thrilled to represent the university and my city on the list.”