EIT Health Needs-Led Innovation Fellowships

Innovation based on needs has a better chance of achieving business success and ultimately helping patients. These fellowships focus on real solutions for real needs.


Needs-Led Innovation Fellowships (NIFs) actively target the key challenges in healthcare: better patient care, improved population health and reduced costs. Fellows working in multidisciplinary teams identify a broad spectrum of possible healthcare challenges that represent under-met needs. They interrogate the problems in detail and only address clearly-understood clinical needs with solutions that have realistic commercial potential and a higher likelihood of benefitting the healthcare system. The resulting outputs have proven to have greater potential of reaching market maturity and delivering impact for patients. Spinouts by EIT Health Needs-led Innovation Fellows attracted €32 million in investment in 2018 alone. The fellowships take place in an interdisciplinary environment that immerses innovators in the healthcare system, connects them to a network of highly-experienced mentors, offers links with industry and academia and introduces access to funding.

The programme’s main goals are to:

  • educate Europe’s top talent in leading the development of the next generation of health innovations
  • produce entrepreneurial ventures, social enterprises, and intrapreneurial projects that have an impact on health care systems and patients’ lives
  • connect learners, academic and non-academic partners in order to build a stronger innovation ecosystem in Europe

Bootcamp (2-4 weeks): introductory lectures and team building.
Phase 1 – Identify (4-8 weeks): clinical immersion at a leading hospital to identify unmet clinical needs.
Phase 2 – Invent: (8-12 weeks): need filtering and selection & solution invention.
Phase 3 – Implement (8-12 weeks): business model development. Period mentoring and assessments.
End-of-year events: Pitch of final business case for local and European innovation ecosystem representatives

Is it for me?

With nine sites around Europe, the EIT Health Innovation Fellowships recruit experts in a diverse set of fields (primarily medicine, business, engineering and design). If you have 3-15 years of work experience, an entrepreneurial drive, and a passion for making an impact on patients’ lives, you might be just who we are looking for.

Daniel Mogefors
| Fellowship Network Activity Line Coordinator | University of Oxford