Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation launched at University of Galway

Minister of State for Business, Employment & Retail Emer Higgins and University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

Minister of State for Business, Employment & Retail Emer Higgins and University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

The University of Galway’s flagship BioInnovate fellowship programme – the only European affiliate of Stanford BioDesign – is to receive €7 million in funding over the coming six years.

The announcement coincides with the official launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation, on the University campus, named in honour of the late Ian Quinn who was central in establishing Galway as a global medtech hub.

BioInnovate Ireland is one of four programmes under the Government of Ireland Innovators’ Initiative and is co-funded by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and administered by Enterprise Ireland. Initially established in 2011 with the aim of anchoring the medical device sector in Ireland by educating and training future entrepreneurs, the programme has trained 150 fellows and led to the formation of 33 companies – 23 of which are high potential start-ups.



The Ian Quinn Centre will build on the success of the BioInnovate programme and the wider medtech and digital health community by providing co-working space, mentorship and global connections to emerging start-ups, as well as being a venue for industry, clinicians and campus-based innovators to come together and accelerate health technologies.

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant funding allocation, and it is apt that it coincides with the launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation. This dual announcement represents a pivotal moment for University of Galway and a significant step forward in our journey to further advance healthcare innovation. We are grateful for the generous contribution from Chip Hance, which has made it possible to initiate the Ian Quinn Centre. His support, alongside support from others in the community, underscores the importance of our work for the public good and for fostering innovation which will greatly benefit future medtech solutions and development, both here in Galway and globally.”

Marina Donohoe, Head of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the development of Irish-owned companies on their journey to achieving their global ambition. A really important element of this is helping to foster the development of Irish innovators who are driving transformation around the world, and programmes like BioInnovate and facilities like the Ian Quinn Centre are key to that. Ireland has established a reputation as being a global leader in healthcare innovation, and this funding will help to further build out that pipeline of talented innovators. Enterprise Ireland has been proud to support this project since its inception, and we wish everyone involved continued success.”

Following a visit to Stanford BioDesign, Ian Quinn was involved in the foundation of BioInnovate Ireland, along with Prof Mark Bruzzi, bringing the BioDesign model to Ireland, with the aim of creating a fellowship programme to educate and train innovators. More than a decade later, Ireland has become a global hub for medtech and digital health, with more than 450 companies, of which, more than 200 are homegrown.

One in eight Irish medtech companies have come from fellowships at BioInnovate Ireland.

The programme takes in 12 fellows a year on a 10-month specialist, medical device innovation. It combines teams of high-calibre, experienced fellows from medical, engineering, business and technical backgrounds whose aim is to discover unmet clinical needs and align them with market opportunities.

The fellows are rigorously selected to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of multi-disciplinary teams. During the programme they are awarded a scholarship and focus on one specific clinical area, and receive mentorship from industry, clinicians, venture capitalists, domain experts and academics. The Fellowship teams perform their clinical immersion phase at hospitals in Galway and nationwide.

TechCentral Reporters

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