20th December 2022
It’s almost the two-year anniversary of EIT Health establishing a base in Ireland and what an exciting year it has been for the Ireland-UK hub! From supporting three leading academic institutions host student Innovation Days, to helping more start-ups gain access to a diverse network of mentors and investors, it was difficult to choose just ten highlights from the past 12 months. After much deliberation, the Ireland-UK team agreed on the top ten picks listed below. In no particular order:
1. Ireland-UK start-ups selected for European business accelerator programmes
EIT Health selected eight Ireland-based companies for seven of its highly competitive business accelerator programmes for phase one 2022. These start-ups included Akara, BioXplor, Empeal, EpiCapture, Kids Speech Labs, RemedyBio, xWave Technologies, and Zendra Health, all of which are innovating to improve patient outcomes.
Sixteen other start-ups from across Ireland and UK joined business accelerator programmes such as Interseed, throughout the remainder of 2022. UK start-ups that were accepted to EIT Health programmes include Abtrace, Benetalk, and Vinehealth.
2. Six Ireland-UK start-ups secure places in Catapult 2022-23 semi-finals
Catapult is a pitching competition run by EIT Health that has already exposed 231 European start-ups to over 400 actively involved investors and 2,500 healthcare professionals. The Ireland-UK 2022-23 Catapult semi-finalists included Súil Pharma (Ireland), MediSieve (UK), FabRx (UK), QV Bioelectronics (UK), electronRx (UK), and Waire Health (UK).
3. EIT Health Summit and awards
In May, the EIT Health Summit 2022 at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden brought together healthcare professionals, experts, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators from all over Europe with a focus on improving the sustainability of healthcare systems. During the event, Cambridge-based start-up SolasCure was crowned champion in the Catapult 2021-22 finals, in the biotech category. Luminate Medical won the Alex Casta Audience Choice award, with their logo later being displayed at New York’s Nasdaq Tower.
4. i-Days 2022
Innovation Days (i-Days) are challenge-based learning events that train participants in innovation and entrepreneurship, design thinking methods, and pitching. We supported the University of Galway, Atlantic Technological University, Sligo, and Dundalk Institute of Technology to host these competitive pitches. One team from each got selected for the i-Days final in Vienna back in November.
5. A New European Innovation Agenda
EIT Health welcomed the EU’s recent adoption of ‘A New European Innovation Agenda’ and the underlying commitment to reinforce Europe’s innovation potential. This aims to position Europe at the forefront of a new wave of deep tech innovation.
6. ‘Transforming Healthcare’ webinar series
The first webinar in the new series brought together expert panelists from across the health and data industry to share tips on how to deploy data at scale in healthcare environments. Health practitioners and innovators gained practical knowledge directly from industry experts and providers. The first in this webinar series is available to watch on-demand here.
7. EIT Health launches its first flagship call
In September, EIT Health launched an open call for anyone with an interest in becoming involved in cross-pillar healthcare innovation activities. These flagship topics include:
- New models to deliver healthcare
- Facilitating the uptake of digital medical devices in Europe
- Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI)
- Harnessing the full potential of health data for innovation
8. ‘Conversations with our Network’ series
We at the Ireland-UK hub launched ‘Conversations with our Network,’ a series of interviews with our partners, start-up founders, alumni and many more. Check out the conversations so far:
- Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at University of Galway
- Joseph Lanzillotta, Student Entrepreneurship Programme Manager at Tangent, Trinity College Dublin’s Ideas Workspace
- Liam English, Founder and CEO at Bluemetrix
- Antoinette Perry, CEO and Co-Founder at EpiCapture
- Cormac Flynn, Founder and CEO at Súil Pharma
9. Think Tank: Healthcare System Resilience and Sustainability
EIT Health’s latest Think Tank report defines the potential for health innovation to build resilient and sustainable healthcare systems for a forward-looking Europe. It identifies gaps, opportunities and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and goes on to provide recommendations for policy action.
10. ‘Meet the Team’ interviews
Over the past 12 months, we introduced the EIT Health Ireland-UK team, spotlighting several team members’ areas of focus across Business Creation, Collaboration, Education, Innovation, Marketing, and Communications. Get acquainted with:
- Graham Armitage, Interim Managing Director and Collaboration Lead
- Valentina Isetta, Innovation Lead
- Marc Butterly, Business Creation Lead
- David Pollard, Education Lead
- Elaine Murray, Communications Lead
Overall, the successes of 2022 can be attributed to our partners, programme participants, and team members fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation in Europe’s largest health network through EIT Health. We’re now eager to see what 2023 holds as we continue to provide support for healthier lives in Europe.
Help us plan some interesting events for 2023 by casting your vote to help us pick the most relevant topics to guide you on your health innovation journey.
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