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Original research
Driving medtech innovation and start-up company formation through successful joint academic/commercial fellowship
  1. Faisal Sharif1,2,3,4,
  2. Ian Quinn1
  1. 1 BioInnovate Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  2. 2 Cardiovascular Research & Innovation Centre, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  3. 3 Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Galway, Galway, Ireland
  4. 4 CÚRAM-SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Faisal Sharif, BioInnovate Ireland, Galway, Ireland; faisal.sharif{at}


Aim Medical devices (medtech) is a strong driver of innovation and new treatments in healthcare. Straddling the fields of engineering and healthcare, successful medtech development demands critical needs assessment, highly skilled medical engineering professionals, and the successful collaboration between medical and other experts. Optimal development and testing need an efficient dialogue with third parties, including regulators and payers. BioInnovate Ireland was established in 2011 as a multidisciplinary, structured programme to shape the future of medical device therapy based on innovation and interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation.

Methods and results 107 fellows have completed the programme covering 20 clinical areas. Fellows have funded companies at a rate of more than 1.5 companies per year which have attracted Irish and international seed funding in excess of €40 million, excluding undisclosed investments.

Conclusions A multidisciplinary programme targeting mature, experienced professionals can drive a highly successful medtech start-up culture in the right ecosystem.

  • inventions
  • reverse innovations
  • global health

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. No additional text.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. No additional text.

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  • Contributors FS planned the study and performed the data collection. FS and IQ drafted the manuscript. Both authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding Since 2011, the BioInnovate Ireland programme has been co-funded by Enterprise Ireland.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.