Final call issued for medtech innovators to apply for €45,000 award

13 Dec 2017

Image: Sergey Ryzhov/Shutterstock

If you think your idea could be turned into a game-changing product within the healthcare industry, you might want to consider applying for this award.

Seven years after its inaugural event, Enterprise Ireland’s (EI) Clinical Innovation Awards event is back to find Ireland’s leading clinicians, and turn new medtech ideas into commercial products with a bright future.

The award caters to technologies at all stages of development, from concept and early-stage research, through to more advanced projects, but they must address a gap or need in patient care.

If it is deemed to fall into this criteria, the overall winner will receive €15,000 in EI funding to investigate the commercial feasibility of their innovative idea, to see if it could be commercialised in Ireland and international markets. As part of the prize, the winner will also travel to non-profit academic medical centre Cleveland Clinic in the US next year to talk with some of the clinicians there and get feedback on their idea.

There are also two additional runner-up prizes of €15,000 each, adding up to €45,000 in total being awarded.

There is certain criteria for eligibility, as any ideas that are already being worked on within a company don’t make the cut, but clinicians in public hospitals, third-level institutions and non-profit research organisations are encouraged. Applicants must also be employed and have ongoing clinical commitments in the Irish health service.

Looking for wide variety of ideas

Speaking with, EI’s Noel Daly, who is helping to orchestrate the awards, said EI is looking for a wide range of applicants from various research areas, rather than just one.

“The award is open to all clinicians and healthcare professionals working in the public healthcare system,” Daly said.

“We’re not targeting any particular area. We have found in the past that we always get a wide variety of ideas, which is great.”

He continued: “We have always found that the Cleveland clinicians are extremely helpful and are a huge source of experience and knowledge.

“The Cleveland Clinic is one of the top two hospital systems in the US – along with the Mayo Clinic – and has patient revenues of over $10bn annually.”

The last winner was the aptly named Dr Cyrus Doctor, who is developing an automated suture device for wound and incision closure as an alternative to hand-tied sutures and metal staples. This is currently being funded under EI’s Commercialisation Fund, with the intention of establishing a spin-out company to bring the technology to market.

The closing date for applications is 20 December and you can enter from EI’s website, with the winners being announced in March 2018.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic