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Story Hub: 2021 highlights roundup from EIT Health Ireland-UK

7th December 2021

What a year 2021 was at EIT Health’s Ireland-UK hub. From the launch of new programmes to helping more and more health innovators take their ideas to market, it was difficult to choose just 10 highlights from the past 12 months. After much deliberation, the Ireland-UK team agreed on the top 10 picks listed below. In no particular order:

1. Digi Academy presents to European Patient’s Forum

Digi Academy is a pan-European partnership that addresses the challenge of digital inclusion and digital literacy among people with intellectual disabilities. Trinity College is running the project in Ireland and had the opportunity to present at the European Patients Forum in October to a virtual audience of 300. Watch this space.

2. NUI Galway awarded €1.2M funding for i2i education programme

The National University of Ireland Galway won €1.2m in funding under the EIT Higher Education Institution (HEI) initiative. This supports NUIG’s pilot project called Idea to Impact (i2i), with a view to addressing capacity and capability to foster entrepreneurial thinking and actions.

3. European Health Data Space report launch

In November EIT Health launched its latest Think Tank report “Learning from health data use cases: Real-world challenges and enablers to the creation of the European Health Data Space.” Our partner Bluemetrix made valued contributions to this report, providing expertise on how to make data automation usable in healthcare settings.

4. Regional success at the Catapult semi-finals

42 start-ups from across Europe competed in the EIT Health Catapult semi-finals in November. Catapult is a competition and training programme spotlighting start-ups that offer value to users and customers. Five of the six Ireland-UK competitors successfully secured a place in the finals at the EIT Health Summit 2022. where they will go head-to-head for their share of the €210,000 investment prize fund.

Congratulations to finalists SolasCure, Luminate Medical, FeelTect, Brightlobe, and Amara Therapeutics.

5. i-Days

i-Days promote health innovation among university students by introducing them to practical innovation tools along with the opportunity to compete in real-life health challenges posed by EIT Health. We supported both NUIG BioInnovate and Trinity College Dublin in running these one and two-day programmes back in October.

6. Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

Two female-led start-ups from the Ireland-UK region were selected for the Accelerator Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, Wellola, and Beam. This programme connects them with an unparalleled network of investors and mentors to support rapid growth.

7. EIT Health signs MoU with HSE

EIT Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ireland’s national health service – the HSE – in early December to partner in the foundation of a new European Digital Health Innovation Lab at Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.

8. ProVerum secures Disruptive Technologies Innovation Funding

In April, health innovation start-up ProVerum Medical was selected for the Irish Government’s Disruptive Technologies Fund. ProVerum, a Trinity College spin-out, delivers treatment for patients with symptomatic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a common medical condition. ProVerum has participated in several EIT Health programmes since 2016 and we are delighted to see it reach another milestone on its growth journey!

9. Rahko selected for Gold Track mentorship programme

UK-based Rahko, the quantum machine learning company that cuts the cost and time to develop new drugs, was selected for our Gold Track mentorship programme in June. To date, the Gold Track Accelerator programme has led to companies raising over €250M and achieving four exits, totalling over €1B.

10. Hub relocation and new hires

Ireland’s MedTech sector is well-established as one of the leading clusters for medical device products globally, with over 300 companies operating in this space. Our EIT Health Ireland-UK hub relocated to Ireland in 2021, and with that we welcomed several new faces to the team across Education, Business Creation, Innovation, Marketing, and Communications. Meet the full Ireland-UK team here.

Overall the successes of 2021 come down to our team members, partners, and programme participants focusing on their goals, and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation at EIT Health. It was eventful and we’re now eager to see what 2022 holds.

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