€5m set aside for companies to develop advanced Irish medtech

26 Jan 2016

With the General Election announcement due imminently, the Government has announced that it is to provide €5m in funding for the Health Innovation Hub to develop the latest medtech for the Irish health service.

The funding for Irish medtech will be spread over the next five years. The Health Innovation Hub was first created back in 2012 and its base of operation is in University College Cork (UCC).

The Government has said that the Health Innovation Hub will now have greater access to the health service to test their products and service which, it claims, will increase the chances of developing commercial ideas and creating jobs in the area.

To date, the hub has been responsible for the development of an online tool for GPs to monitor the physical activity of patients via a smartphone or wearable device, as well as scheduling services to improve patient flow and infection control and hygiene management systems.

Through the Hub, Cork company Radisens Diagnostics was able to close a contract with a Tier‐1 strategic customer for Troponin development as well as securing a €1m ESA contract to develop an innovative blood testing device for use by astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) and on various human spaceflight missions.

Scaled up to a national level

In terms of its organisation, the Hub will be scaled up to the national level with direct financial support being provided by Enterprise Ireland and in-kind support being provided by the Health Service Executive, including its staff.

Companies looking to gain access to the hub can begin sending their proposals sometime later this year.

Speaking of the announcement, the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, said: “More than 100,000 people are employed in the public health sector and as many again with private healthcare providers, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, medical devices, and in research and development.

“The life sciences sector accounts for a lot of our export revenue and is a major source of inward investment. The Health Innovation Hub is an opportunity to build on this by creating linkages between the health service and industry to develop new products and services that we can use to improve our own health service at home and also sell products and services abroad.”

Hospital equipment image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic