Jun 20, 2018

Health Innovation Hub launches call for Irish startups to enter dragon’s den style pitch.

Call aimed at companies, start-ups, SMEs, who have innovative products or services that have potential to impact healthcare. Closing date is 5pm on Friday, 31st August 2018. The theme of this call is Enabling Positive Ageing.

Government initiative, Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), has launched a national call – both focussed and open – to industry. The annual HIHI call brings finalists together for a national dragon’s den style pitch, with the winning products fast tracked into Ireland’s health service for study.


The first stage of the HIHI call will be open until 31st August, during which time companies must apply via on hih.ie. At stage two, successful applicants are invited to a rigorous competitive pitch process, with representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board, HSE and other influencers that they would not ordinarily have direct access to.


At stage three, HIHI acts as a broker, matching companies with relevant clinical teams, overseeing a study of each product in a real life Irish clinical setting and authors a report upon completion of the study. The completed report can offer leverage for products in international markets, enhance distribution opportunities and inform further development.

HIHI partner, the HSE, has highlighted a strategic need for the health service in the focussed call – ‘Enabling positive ageing’ and although all products will be considered for the HIHI pitch, the HSE has asked that companies also consider impact in:

  • Dementia Care
  • Integrated Care
  • Limiting acute hospital admissions
  • Promoting healthy living for longer
  • Minimising polypharmacy
  • Promoting increased independence at home
  • Providing care closer to home


The HSE faces many pressures including an ageing population, rising incidence of long-term conditions, increased costs and budget limitations.

HIHI National Director, Dr Colman Casey said:

“HIHI provides a unique quid pro quo – we offer companies the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and the health service access to innovative products, services, devices, that they may otherwise not be exposed to.

“These studies offer added credibility with investors and may help with early adoption. The fact is if you have not tested your product in a clinical setting, then commercialisation is distinctly more difficult. Or the HIHI study may identify that a product needs further refinement after observing its use by a clinical team, which is crucial prior to achieving commercial return on any product or device.”

For a Briefing Document and Application Form for 2018’s focussed call, ‘Enabling positive ageing’, please visit https://hih.ie/engage/focussed-call-2018/