Irish students scoop first place at EIT Health innovation competition

7 Dec 2023

Image: © alesmunt/

Four students impressed EIT Health judges with their pitch for RecoverKnee, a product that aims to help people with cruciate injuries heal better.

A team of four undergraduate students from the University of Galway were named the overall winners of this year’s I-Days competition.

The I-Days competition is run across Europe by the health division of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It is a challenge-based competition that aims to encourage students to create solutions to health problems and pitch them in an entrepreneurial environment.

Thomas Brogan, Dara Keane, Darragh McAndrew and James Gorman won the Irish leg of the competition before going on to compete – and win – against 22 other teams from 16 different countries at the final in Barcelona.

They impressed the judging team with their product, RecoverKnee, which they designed to help people with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. RecoverKnee integrates sensors within a brace to monitor patients’ progress, offering real-time feedback and personalised guidance for effective recovery management.

“The students from University of Galway have not only showcased exceptional innovation and teamwork but also set a new standard in health solution development in higher education in Ireland and in Europe,” said David Pollard, education lead at EIT Health Ireland-UK.

“Their victory highlights the power of creative thinking and cross-sectoral collaboration. The team has provided a path for future I-Days participants to follow in their journey for transformative health improvements,” he added.

Shona D’Arcy, entrepreneurship lead, EIT Health Ireland-UK, said the winning students “displayed a deep understanding of the problem they were trying to address and most importantly, a passion to improve the lives of people recovering from ACL injuries.”

The four students will receive $15,000 worth of AWS cloud credits as a prize, as well as access to an e-learning education programme by EIT Health, called Healthcare Entrepreneurship 101. They will be also mentored by European health and entrepreneurship leaders.

EIT Health regularly holds competitions for medtech innovators and Irish competitors feature a lot. A few months ago, two Irish start-ups, Haon Life Sciences and Myndgard, were selected as finalists at an EIT Health competition focused on children’s health.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic