New healthcare cluster launched at Dublin’s Guinness Enterprise Centre

6 Dec 2022

From left: Red Zinc CEO and founder Donal Morris, GEC health lead DR Paul Anglim and St James’ Hospital Academic Health Science Centre programme director Orla Veale. Image: Barry Cronin

The cluster has attracted 20 companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to established organisations, with the goal of boosting healthcare innovation.

A new healthcare innovation cluster has opened at the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) in Dublin to foster collaboration between start-ups, medical practitioners and patients.

The GEC has partnered with St James’s Hospital to create the cluster, which has already attracted 20 healthcare companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to established international organisations.

Companies that have joined the Health@GEC cluster include telemedicine software company Red Zinc, digital health company Kids Speech Labs and digestive health start-up FoodMarble.

The cluster aims to boost healthcare innovation in Ireland and abroad. Some of its current projects are focused on specialised clinical research and training, while others involve supporting patients in and out of hospitals to help alleviate capacity issues.

GEC health lead Paul Anglim said the cluster links healthcare providers and institutions with companies and “a supporting ecosystem of partners and investors”.

“It is a hub from which innovators can access the network, locations, supports and people to bring their product to market successfully, thereby improving patient outcomes and new product adoption,” Anglim added.

The Health@GEC cluster has had visits from the Texas Medical Center and hosted a visit from the Enterprise Ireland Global Healthcare Forum earlier this year.

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) has also joined Health@GEC as an ecosystem partner, increasing the potential for collaboration and open innovation. CHI has been using the GEC as a base for innovation workshops and upskilling healthcare workers.

St James’s Hospital and CHI have also used the GEC as a base for their Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Programme. This involves a multidisciplinary team supporting adolescents and young adults living with cancer in a non-clinical setting.

“St James’s recognises the value of open innovation to ensure it remains a leading healthcare organisation nationally and internationally, but also to continue to meet the needs of our patients into the future,” said Orla Veale, programme director for the Academic Health Science centre.

The GEC was established in 2000 by founding partners Diageo, Dublin BIC, Dublin City Council, Dublin City Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland. It is currently home to more than 160 start-ups and is managed by Furthr, the new name for Dublin BIC.

Last year, the GEC completed a massive expansion that provided a 75pc increase in floor space at its site in the Liberties area of Dublin 8.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic