BioInnovate expected to drive medical device innovation

2 Aug 2011

Five higher education institutions have joined forces to deliver BioInnovate Ireland, a specialist training programme in medical device innovation, modelled on Stanford University’s Biodesign Programme.

The new programme aims to hot house individuals with multidisciplinary backgrounds to explore and develop in teams, opportunities for innovative medical devices.

The five institutions are NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin City University and University College Cork, which jointly launched the 10-month programme today (2 August).

Programme participants will experience an intensive clinical immersion in teaching hospitals to help identify potential medical device development opportunities.

Throughout the 10-month period, they will avail of expert advice, direction and guidance from dedicated industrial mentors and serial entrepreneurs, along with clinicians with an interest in enhancing patient care through medical device innovation.

Research students in the BioInnovate consortium will have access to modules as part of their structured PhD programmes to broaden their education and expose them to the process of bringing ideas from concept to commercialisation.

This initiative has received funding from Enterprise Ireland and also support from several medical device development and service companies, including Medtronic, Creganna-Tactx Medical, Lake Region Medical and Steripack.

A catalyst for enhancing innovation

It is envisaged that the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme will act as a catalyst for enhancing innovation in medical device development within Ireland.

“Our mission is to educate the next generation of leaders in innovation and to support the future of the medical device technologies sector in Ireland,” said fellowship director, NUI Galway’s Dr Mark Bruzzi.

The eight successful applicants in the programme’s inaugural year have now been split across two teams in Galway and Dublin and will work within cardiology, focusing on intervening and surgical procedures.

The search for candidates for the 2012 cycle of the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme will begin in the autumn.

Photo: Back row (left to right): Marie Travers, Wayne Allen, Colin Forde, Dr Waqar Aziz, Dr James McGarry, Kevin Moore, Dr Liam Mullins, Vicky McGrath (BioInnovate Fellows 2011/12). Front row, centred on bench: Ian Quinn (Creganna Tactx; BioInnovate Advisory Board chair)