Health innovation programmes looking for Irish entrepreneurs


Two health innovation ecosystems on each side of the island have launched programmes to create the next generation of leaders in healthcare and medtech.

University of Galway and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are looking for promising entrepreneurs in the healthcare and medtech space to join their respective innovation programmes.

BioInnovate Ireland, a specialist medical device and health technology innovation programme based in University of Galway, has just launched its latest search for future healthcare innovators.

Formally affiliated to Stanford BioDesign and co-founded by the university and Enterprise Ireland, the BioInnovate fellowship is a fully funded 10-month programme supported by the state agency that offers a tax-free monthly stipend of €3,800 and covers programme fees.

Dr Sinéad Walsh, director of operations at BioInnovate Ireland, said that the purpose of the programme is to create the next generation of healthcare leaders and innovators.

“Each year we welcome applications to the programme from diverse backgrounds, including clinical – all healthcare professionals; technical – engineers, scientists, data analysts, designers; commercial – business, MBA graduates, marketing leaders; and other highly motivated individuals interested in healthcare innovation,” she explained.

“The information evening is the perfect opportunity to explore the programme, hear from distinguished alumni and current fellows, and find out about the transformative impact the programme has had.”

According to Walsh, the programme has trained nearly 150 fellows to date, whose work has led to the creation of 33 start-ups. Technologies built by these companies have benefitted more than 4,000 patients and raised more than €250m in funding.

“In particular, BioInnovate Ireland is an important part of the ecosystem which fosters the development of these companies,” added Marina Donohoe, head of research and innovation at Enterprise Ireland.

“We would encourage interested innovators to engage with this event to learn more about how this programme can support your career ambition and provide an ideal platform to an exciting new start-up journey.”

BioInnovate Ireland is hosting a special online event for anyone interested in participating tomorrow evening (8 February).

DigiBio Innovator’s Programme

Meanwhile in Dundalk, DkIT has partnered with RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and Tyndall National Institute to launch its €7m DigiBio Innovator programme to accelerate healthcare innovation in Ireland.

Also running for 10 months, the DigiBio postgraduate diploma programme kicking off in September will provide a stipend of €38,000 to participants, who will also receive mentorship, training and direct access to healthcare environments to explore commercial opportunities.

Aidan Browne, head of business development and innovation at DkIT, said that the investment is a welcome endorsement of the work done by DkIT and partners to create a digital health innovation ecosystem in Ireland.

“Digital health innovation is a critical area of focus nationally, and we are excited to launch the DigiBio Innovator’s Programme to foster innovation in this space,” he said.

“We believe that this programme will help identify and develop the next generation of digital health innovators who will drive growth and create new opportunities in Ireland and beyond.”

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