25th April 2023
EIT Health’s Innovation Days programme has been shortlisted for an Irish Healthcare Centre Award, in the category of ‘Student Programme.’
Innovation Days (i-Days) are challenge-based learning events that train participants in innovation and entrepreneurship, design thinking methods, and pitching. i-Days promote health innovation among university students through dozens of one-day and two-day programmes held in academic institutions across Europe. Students from any discipline can receive an introduction to practical health innovation tools and compete in teams to tackle real-life health challenges posed by EIT Health, local organisations, private corporations or start-ups. EIT Health Ireland-UK secured the nomination on foot of i-Days events it supported in 2022 across three academic institutions in Ireland.
Atlantic Technological University, Sligo (ATU Sligo), Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and University of Galway hosted i-Days events during an exciting three weeks in 2022 full of innovation, creativity, and collaboration with 137 students coming together to collaborate on ideas to advance healthcare innovation. I-Days events encourage a new generation of health innovators. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from any discipline, but with an interest in health innovation, come together to work on potentially life-changing solutions for various healthcare issues. Participation does not require any prerequisite skills or prior experience in innovation, entrepreneurship or healthcare, making the events highly accessible.
“Student entrepreneurship is a catalyst for driving innovation, especially in the healthcare sector. The young minds and fresh perspectives that students bring to the table can lead to groundbreaking solutions that address the complex challenges facing our healthcare system. When coupled with intersectionality, it can lead to transformative solutions that address the diverse needs of our communities,” said David Pollard, Education Lead at EIT Health Ireland-UK. “In Ireland, fostering and supporting the hard work and determination of student entrepreneurship in the health innovation sector is essential to ensure a brighter and healthier future for everyone.”
At the University of Galway, 17 participants worked on innovative solutions over three design thinking sessions to address the challenge of loneliness among the elderly. Teams built skills in teamwork, innovation, and business creation. At DkIT, over 80 multi-disciplinary students participated to find solutions for chronic illnesses. At ATU, Sligo 40 students received an introduction to practical health innovation tools and competed in teams to tackle real-life health challenges. Students from all over Ireland learned about the process of developing out an idea to a prototype, their ability to make societal impact, and teamwork. This resulted in impactful presentations and pitches.
Winning teams from each participating institute received €1000 in prizes in 2022, as well as the opportunity to attend the Winners’ Event, a final competition that unites students from around Europe. Three teams were selected to represent Ireland at the Winners’ Ceremony in Vienna in November 2022, joining regional winners from 25 academic institutions to compete in the European final. These three teams also received a voucher for personalized sessions with experts from the Mentoring and Coaching Network.
The Irish Healthcare Centre Awards ceremony will take place on 26th May 2023 at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Others nominated in the Student Programme category include South East Technological Universityand Junior Health Sciences Academy at University of Limerick.
We will soon launch a call for academic institutions to deliver i-Days in 2023. EIT Health offers support to the hosts in the coordination and leadership of the events. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to find out opening dates or get in touch with EIT Health Ireland-UK team for more information.
Learn more about how i-Days works in practice.