Course Overview

BioInnovate Ireland is a national health technology innovation programme based at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The programme is a global affiliate of the University of Stanford Biodesign methodology and leverages this approach to provide a talented multidisciplinary pool of innovators the opportunity to develop novel medical innovations and shape the future of healthcare globally. The programme operates in partnership with a host of national and international partners including Stanford University, American College of Cardiology, our EIT Health funded European Fellowship Network, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, Mayo Clinic, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Abbott Vascular, Creganna, and Aerogen. 

The programme applies needs led innovation and entrepreneurship to real world healthcare problems. This unique approach allows the identification and validation of unmet clinical needs with an associated market opportunity and facilitates the development and commercial de-risking of emerging technologies in the Medtech sector. The goal of the programme is to educate BioInnovate Ireland Fellows and Industry Trainees with a view to developing the next generation of medtech leaders, embedding design capabilities in Irish companies and driving the creation of new Irish start-ups.  

Supported by Enterprise Ireland, BioInnovate Ireland has so far trained over 100 high calibre fellows and 250 industry professionals, each undergoing a rigorous, bespoke, highly mentored innovation, and leadership programme, equipping them with the skills and mind-set to drive innovation in start-ups and industry. As a result of this training, the programme has been involved in the creation of 22 new companies who, between them, have raised over €60 million in funding.

You may also be interested in one of our other Entrepreneurship and Innovation postgraduate programmes.

Applications and Selections

Application/expression of interest information is online here. Interviews take place in April each year.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Professor Faisal Sharif
  • Professor Mark Bruzzi
  • Dr Brendan Wilkins
  • Professor Garry Duffy
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Requirements and Assessment

Please visit this website for supporting documentation information.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Candidates in the areas of engineering, science, information technology and business must have completed an undergraduate degree in their area and should hold a postgraduate qualification or have equivalent professional experience.

Medical graduates must have completed the MB/BAO/BCH or equivalent medical degree recognised by the Irish Medical Council. At least three years must have passed since the medical graduate obtained the above degrees, two of which must have been spent in the practice of medicine.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


10 months, full-time

Next start date

August 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

12 Fellows annually

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with cut-off points. Please contact our Programme Administrator for up-to-date information.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

At BioInnovate, we bring together exceptional multidisciplinary teams to investigate, inspire and innovate a healthier world that will improve patients’ lives globally. The BioInnovate Fellowship Postgraduate Diploma Programme is a 10-month experience that equips aspiring innovators with a proven, repeatable process to identify unmet clinical needs, invent a novel solution to address them and prepare to implement those solutions into patient care through startups, as intrapreneurs or other channels. In addition, fellows become part of the BioInnovate Ireland community, a network of innovators passionate about improving healthcare globally. 

The programme follows the biodesign innovation process which provides a systematic approach to the identification of unmet healthcare needs, the development of novel technologies to address them, and the subsequent development of business and commercialisation plans to bring them into patient care. The process is outlined in the book BIODESIGN: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies.

The fellowship programme is a full-time, 10-month, immersive experience that is delivered through the Postgraduate Diploma in BioInnovation. During the programme, fellows have an opportunity to transfer to the MSc in BioInnovation. Applicants with postgraduate qualifications and substantial work experience in the engineering, science, computer science, business, product design, medical or nursing fields are encouraged to apply. Fellows will be selected based on their experience, passion and drive, as well as their potential to become leading innovators in the health technology field.  Successful candidates receive an Enterprise Ireland funded fellowship and receive a monthly stipend during their fellowship*.

The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship programme is a fast-moving programme that begins in August each year. 

August: Bootcamp
The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship programme begins in August with an intense bootcamp phase, during which our fellows focus on the clinical area that has been assigned to their team. Fellows apply the biodesign methodology to their mini-project. Fellows meet with a health technology experts and get to know their teammates.

September & October: Needs Finding
During September and October, BioInnovate Ireland fellows immerse themselves in needs finding by shadowing patients and clinicians, attending rounds and observing cases in the clinic, wards and operating rooms. These observations are conducted at a range of Irish, European and International hospitals, as well as other traditional and non-traditional health care settings relevant to the clinical area. The goal is to identify hundreds of unmet clinical needs.

November & December: Needs Screening
Fellows will focus on evaluating the identified needs to determine which ones represent the most compelling opportunities. This part of the process involved extensive research, literature review, competitive and market analysis.

January & February: Ideation
During this phase, BioInnovate Ireland Fellows begin brainstorming solutions for their top needs. With guidance from our expert mentoring teams in intellectual property, regulatory, reimbursement, and business models, various solution directions are developed to bring ideas to life.

March & April: Strategy Development and Business Planning
At this stage, the fellows develop and integrate concrete intellectual property, regulatory, clinical, quality, and reimbursement strategies to take their ideas forward. At the same time, they actively work to develop and de-risk their technologies through research and development, and engineering and testing.

May: Commercialisation Pathways and Postgraduate Diploma Report submission
During the last phase of the programme, BioInnovate fellows spend time creating their own unique culminating experience for their fellowship training and focus on the next steps that best align with their career interests/goals. Assessment is continuous and all students are required to submit a Final Postgraduate Diploma report.

Our fellows celebrate their individual and collective accomplishments—and the new skills they have developed—at the BioInnovate Ireland end of year symposium and graduation ceremony.

*subject to funding

For further information please visit

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

All of our graduates are currently employed with approximately half of them pursuing commercial opportunities identified during the programme. Several graduates work in start-ups, major multinationals or the government sector.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,640 p.a (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€3,500 p.a.2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€8,250 p.a. (€8,390 including levy) 2024/25

Find out More

Ann Byrne,
Programme Administrator,
BioInnovate Ireland.
T: +353 91 492 646

Postgraduate Scholarships