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HSE staff urged to apply to health innovation initiative

Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD), and National Doctor Training and Planning (NDTP) today announced the launch of the second HIHI Spark Ignite Innovation Competition.

It is the only staff-facing, bottom-up, innovation competition available to the 115,000+ HSE employees. Spark Ignite is open to all disciplines and departments within the HSE, enabling staff to validate unmet clinical needs and determine if a market exists for their proposed solution, product, or service.  Successful applicants will also receive guidance on commercialisation of their ideas.

Through a continued partnership between HIHI and NDTP, with the welcomed addition of the ONMSD, this initiative recognises the value of healthcare professionals’ contribution, experience, and insight in developing solutions within healthcare.

HIHI Spark Ignite is an opportunity for all healthcare staff to put forward their ideas for innovative products or services. The goal of the HIHI Spark Ignite Competition is assisting staff to develop solutions to the challenges faced by healthcare providers and patients. 

According to organisers: “Successful applicants will benefit from a bespoke healthcare focused innovation workshop delivered by experts to hone their idea and proceed to pitch for prizes including a €3,000 prize for an individual winner, €3,000 team prize and three runner-up prizes of €1,000. Funding is provided for good ideas but also delivers the training and mentorship required to move those ideas towards reality.”

Last year’s HIHI Spark Ignite was piloted in the Saolta University Health Care Group. In 2020, HIHI Spark Ignite will be national and open to more staff with greater opportunities for people to test their ideas and vie for funding.

Applications can be submitted via an online portal to HIHI ( The call opens today and will close on 13 March 2020.

Dr Steven Griffin, Innovation from Healthcare Lead, HIHI, commented: “This unique programme not only provides seed funding to develop good ideas assessed by a panel of experts but gives the participants the opportunity to learn about the innovation process.

“It will afford HSE staff the opportunity to learn the skills required to identify and develop good ideas as well as understanding how to frame that idea to gather support from all stakeholders including peers, management, and funders. The value of the programme is in the fact that previous participants have become champions of innovation.”

Dr Ciara Carroll, National Fellow for Innovation and Change, added: “Spark Ignite is a fantastic initiative that supports entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship in HSE staff. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions developed as staff benefit from the workshops, mentorship and other supports offered by the programme.”

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