Clinical Innovation Award now open for entries

2 Oct 2012

From left, Dr Niall Davis, specialist registrar in urology; Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Brian O'Neill, manager of lifesciences at Enterprise Ireland; and Chris Coburn, executive director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations

Clinicians and healthcare professionals from Ireland with ideas for new healthcare products and services can now enter this year’s Clinical Innovation Award for an opportunity to work on progressing the commercial feasibility of their concepts with Cleveland Institute in the US and Enterprise Ireland.

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, launched the Clinical Innovation Award, now in its second year, this morning.

The award is open to clinicians in hospitals, third-level institutions and non-profit research organisations in Ireland. It is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in association with Cleveland Clinic, the non-profit academic medical centre based in Cleveland, Ohio.

The goal is to encourage new healthcare products and services that will benefit both Ireland’s healthcare system and the country’s medical technologies sector. Projects must address a gap or need in patient care.

Winners will get a €15,000 grant, as well as the chance to work with Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland.

Speaking this morning, Bruton touched on how healthcare and life sciences are sectors that will offer job-creation potential in Ireland in the coming years.

“This initiative by Enterprise Ireland provides Irish clinicians with an unrivalled opportunity to work with one of the best medical centres in the world to develop products and services that can lead to jobs,” he said.

The winner of last year’s inaugural Clinical Innovation Award was Dr Niall Davis, a clinician who is specialising in urology. He worked with researchers Rory Mooney and Dr Michael Walsh of the University of Limerick to develop a new safety device for urinary catheterisation.

Davis said that winning the award was a great opportunity to collaborate with scientists and engineers to develop a concept into a product.

“We travelled to Cleveland Clinic to get feedback on our device from a broad range of clinical users, including emergency room doctors, urologists and nurses. It was rewarding to get validation for our approach from these users, as well as obtaining valuable feedback on possible alternative uses for the device,” he said.

Davis and the team are continuing to work with Enterprise Ireland and Cleveland Clinic, with a view to creating a new start-up around their innovation.

Chris Coburn, executive director of innovations at the Cleveland Clinic, spoke about how being involved in the award has allowed the centre to see the medical innovations being pioneered in Ireland.

“We look forward to being a growing part of bringing new Irish products and services to the market to improve patient care,” he said.

The closing date for entries to the Clinical Innovation Award is 31 October. Application forms are available from Enterprise Ireland. is hosting Med Tech Focus, an initiative which over coming months will cover news, reports, interviews and videos documenting Ireland’sleading role in one of the hottest sectors in technology.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic