Third national Health Innovation Hub Ireland opened in Galway

The third national Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI, has been officially opened at NUI Galway’s Lambe Institute for Translational Research, based at Galway University Hospital.

Mr. Tony Canavan
Mr. Tony Canavan

Both the President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán ÓhÓgartaigh and the CEO of Saolta University Healthcare Group and HMI Vice-President, Mr. Tony Canavan, welcomed the arrival of the HIHI in the West.

First launched by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD at its headquarters at University College Cork in 2016, Health Innovation Hub Ireland is assisting in the establishment of Ireland as a leading location for start-ups and expanding healthcare companies. HIHI allows easy interaction with hospitals and primary care centres. Collaboration between the health service and enterprise is leading to the development of new Irish healthcare technologies, products, and services.

The continued growth of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland and expansion into the west, marks a continued pattern of growth for the HIHI nationally. This expansion follows the October 2018 launch of the second office based at Trinity College Dublin on the St. James Hospital Campus.

Nationally, Health Innovation Hub Ireland plays a unique role within the Irish healthcare ecosystem working at both ends of the innovation pathway- at the very earliest stage from ideation through to concept development and at the later stage of proof of concept in a clinical environment.

In Galway, HIHI works closely with other Enterprise Ireland programmes including BioInnovate Ireland and BioExel and leverages the medtech expertise within NUI Galway including the Translational Medical Device Lab, led by Professor Martin O’Halloran, CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway and the HRB Clinical Research Facility led by the HIHI PrincipaI Investigator, Professor Martin O’Donnell.

HIHI Galway is at the cutting edge of excellence in healthcare, clinical and engineering research with easy access to experts and the next generation of innovators. Companies based in the West such as Ostoform and Feeltect are just a few of the companies benefiting from the HIHI’s unique ecosystem.

The CEO of Saolta University Healthcare Group, Tony Canavan, said,

 “The HIHI facilitates a unique partnership between the health service and the enterprise sector to enable healthcare research and innovation will over time improve outcomes for patients. Critically, it gives staff working on the front line of the health service an opportunity to bring their ideas and proposals to the Hub that will ultimately improve outcomes for our patients. We are delighted that the Saolta Group and in particular University Hospital Galway is part of this initiative and I would encourage staff to share their knowledge and make proposals.”

Speaking about the growth of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland, HIHI Principal Investigator, Professor John Higgins, said,  “The opening of the Health Innovation Hub in Galway is another key step in making HIHI a truly national organisation following the extension from Cork to Dublin and now Galway. It is a prelude to the HIHI extending to the rest of Ireland. Throughout the healthcare system, if you have an idea or burning desire to bring about change, a solution or a wish to bring innovation in, the HIHI opens that door. The national presence of the HIHI is a testimony to industry and healthcare working together.”

Prof Martin O’Donnell – Professor of Translational Medicine NUI Galway and HIHI Principal Investigator, Galway said, Based at NUI Galway we have multi-disciplinary award-winning teams in healthcare, clinical and engineering research at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research. Health Innovation Hub Ireland combines expertise from NUI Galway and the HSE to deliver projects in healthcare and industry. With a strategic location, embedded in the heart of the hospital, research and teaching, the Hub is a welcome resource to clinicians, researchers and companies.”