Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Health Service Executive are inviting companies to try and solve the SIBR Diabetes Challenge.
The Diabetes Challenge asks small businesses to harness innovation and new technologies to help patients avoid typical complications from diabetes and get earlier care when they do crop up.
Enterprise Ireland is making €200,000 in funding available through its Small Business Innovation Research initiative for a successful company.
The challenge targets two key areas: reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes and screening for related foot disease in all patients.
Gestational diabetes affects one in six pregnancies globally and those women are at greater risk of developing diabetes after the pregnancy.
Tom Kelly, Head of Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said, ‘‘Diabetes has become a serious global health issue which can benefit from innovative solutions to help reduce complications from the disease.
“Enterprise Ireland is proud to partner with the HSE on our first SBIR health challenge to harness the best in innovation to address a global health problem.”
He added that after monitoring innovation practices in the UK, Enterprise Ireland sees huge potential for SIBR to deliver cheaper, smarter healthcare technologies.
A workshop will take place in the city at Galway Technology Centre next February 5 from 10:30am – 12:30pm to brief interested parties on the challenge and the process applicants will go through.
Tickets are free but places must be booked ahead of time as space is limited.
The challenge will be live on eTenders until February 22.
Consultant physician and HSE Clinical lead for Diabetes, Professor Sean Dinneen said, “This is about HSE clinicians working in a unique way with firms to use technology and digital innovation to ensure that fewer Irish citizens develop avoidable complications of diabetes.
“Usually as HSE clinicians we have to decide in advance what is the product or service we want to procure.
“With SBIR we uniquely present the problem to the firms, and then we can get involved in helping to design the solution.”
He said that this condition can have a “profound impact” on people’s quality of life, such as making them 22 times more likely to need a non-traumatic amputation than other people.
“Applying technology to help them reduce this risk would be a real help to our health service,” he added.
“We are looking forward to working with Enterprise Ireland to address some of these critical challenges with a view to improving the lives and health of Irish citizens.”