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BioInnovate Ireland is a national medical technology innovation training programme that aims to act as a neutral territory in which academia, clinicians and industry can collaborate to develop novel medical technologies. The programme is an active partnership between multiple universities (NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork), engages with hospitals all over the country, and is supported by Enterprise Ireland, IMDA and multiple industry sponsors.

BioInnovate Ecosystem

BioInnovate Ecosystem

Fellowship Programme

The Fellowship programme is a specialist medical device innovation programme which is affiliated with the Stanford BioDesign programme.

The 10-month, full-time, programme combines teams of high-calibre Fellows from either a medical, engineering, business or technical graduate background that aim to align unmet clinical needs with a market opportunity. Team members are chosen to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of a multi-disciplinary Fellowship team. During the process Fellows focus on one specific clinical area, receive mentorship from Industry, Clinicians, VC's, Domain Experts and Academics and are stipend supported by Enterprise Ireland. Fellowship teams are physically located at one of the partner Universities, perform their initial clinical immersion phase in the associated hospitals, and subsequently in hospitals across the country. To date, Fellows have interacted with hundreds of clinical staff in over 50 hospitals. The programme commences in early August each year, and had an associated post-graduate award of either a Post Graduate Diploma or a Research Masters.

Clinical areas/immersion

Fellowship Year

Clinical Area(s)

Team Location

Chief Clinical Mentor

2011-2012 Cardiology NUIG / DCU Dr Faisal Sharif
2012-2013 Urology/Radiation Oncology   NUIG / UL Prof. Frank Sullivan
2013-2014 Gastrointestinal NUIG / UL Prof. Larry Egan
  Orthopaedic UCC Prof. James Harty
2014-2015 ENT NUIG Prof. Ivan Keogh
  Respiratory Medicine UCC Dr Marcus Kennedy
  Gastrointestinal NUIG & Mayo Clinic   Prof. Larry Egan & Dr William Faubion
  Structural Heart NUIG Dr Faisal Sharif

The Fellowship Process

The Fellowship follows the Identify, Invent, Implement Model developed by Stanford Biodesign.

Identify, Invent, Implement

Identify unmet clinical needs

The programme begins with a five-week intensive Bootcamp in which the Fellows are introduced to observation and needs finding, meet a network of mentors and experts, receive in-depth anatomy training and lectures from the clinical teams, and begin team training.

The following eight weeks are spent in clinical immersion where the Fellowship teams are immersed in the clinical environments across Ireland. This process involves observing patients and healthcare professionals in a range of clinical settings including: specialist diagnostic clinics, surgical and interventional procedures, post-operative care and rehabilitation. At this time, these elite multi-disciplinary teams observe a variety of health-care professionals and their interactions with patients in a clinical environment. This is a unique opportunity for the Fellows to observe and document the day to day challenges.

Invent solutions

The Fellowship teams now focus on processing the unmet clinical needs through the BioInnovation process, ultimately brain-storming to develop a range of potential solutions. During the "Invent" period, the Fellowship teams are intensively monitored and advised by a range of experienced and committed clinical, academic and entrepreneurial mentors.

Implement (commercialisation)

Once the clinical needs are filtered and potential solutions developed through the concept phase, the teams then consider and agree the Implementation strategy and options which involves prototyping, business & financial planning, regulatory affairs and reimbursement strategies. The Fellows are encouraged to move concepts forward to business planning with the aim of advancing the most promising concept to be pitch ready and apply for funding opportunities. Upon completion of the 10-month programme, the Fellows are able to address the 'big questions' associated with the commercialisation of a new technology.

Outcomes to date

  • 28 Fellows, 32 graduate students and 40 industry professionals trained in the 'Process of Med Tech Innovation'
  • Accessed 40+ Hospitals Internationally, 100's Physicians / Surgeons
  • 1000+ unmet / under-met clinical needs identified
  • Detailed market research , concepts developed for 30+ 'needs'
  • 8 Technologies developed - €5m funding
  • One start-up (€3m funding) and One license
  • International network of entrepreneurs, clinicians, VCs and industry
  • Partnership with Stanford Biodesign and Mayo Clinic

Want to become a BioInnovate Fellow? Express your interest

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Medtech Key Facts

Learn about the Irish Medical Technology Sector by reading our key facts article.