University of Galway at the heart of a global medtech hub

Deeply connected internationally and open to the world

Galway has now firmly emerged as an internationally-recognised MedTech hub, mentioned alongside San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, Singapore and Berlin.

Purpose: The outputs and innovations of Galway's medtech sector benefit patients globally.

People: Central to everything are people. The approach is open and collaborative with engagement among all stakeholders - academia, industry, healthcare professionals and patients.

Place: Galway is one of Europe’s premier MedTech hubs and University of Galway is at the heart of this ecosystem. Eight of the world’s top ten med-tech companies have a physical presence in Galway. Overall, Ireland is the second-largest European exporter of medical devices producing for the worldwide market 80% of stents and 50% of the ventilators.

Culture of collaboration

Our MedTech ecosystem in University of Galway is based on a thriving culture of collaboration across our research community, our clinical colleagues, and industry partners.

Forging partnerships locally and internationally, we have developed expertise and capacity across the entire continuum of medical device research and innovation. 

We also collaborate with world-leading medical device companies such as Medtronic and  Boston Scientific, as well as internationally acclaimed institutes including MIT, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Stanford University, McMaster University and the Mayo Clinic.

We work closely with government agencies equally committed to the sector, with funders, and with stakeholders locally and internationally. Our efforts feed back into our research-led teaching which supports the development of the next generation of MedTech pioneers.

With industry, we have extensive research collaborations and we license our breakthrough technologies into the sector.

Collaboration and Covid-19
The global pandemic unleashed new frontiers in collaboration. From our MedTech hub, and across our worldwide network, our academic, industry, clinical and patient partners helped create innovative solutions. Read more about how our research community mobilised during the pandemic, and watch the trailer for the television documentary 'Off the Bench'.

Watch the trailer for Off The Bench, the documentary tracking the response of the Irish MedTech community to Covid-19.

Watch the trailer for Off The Bench, the documentary tracking the response of the Irish MedTech community to Covid-19.

Putting the patient at the centre of research

With our track record in engaged research, we have brought the patient to the centre of all we do by embedding patient involvement along the research and innovation continuum.  

University of Galway is leading the PPI Ignite Network, a new national programme to bring the public into the heart of research initiatives. The Network will help research institutions advance the involvement of the public, patients and carers in health and social care research, drawing on their lived experience to influence research from ideation to the delivery of results. 

Research excellence

At University of Galway we take a multi-disciplinary approach to research. Researchers work across the spectrum from fundamental research, through to clinical and translational projects.

Our approach brings together science, engineering, medicine, psychology, economics, clinical and translational science.  We have particularly strong expertise in biomechanics, mechanobiology and in medical implant and device analysis, as well as regenerative medicine.

World-class expertise
We have a global reputation for our research in the Medtech field and have developed a range of research centres and initiatives.

Research centres, the Lambe Institute for Translational Research, the CORRIB Research Centre for Advanced Imaging and CÚRAM—the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices are globally recognised as “go-to” centres for undertaking medical device research and clinical trials.

The University of Galway has established Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials. Through its ambitious programme of research excellence, the Institute will position Ireland at the forefront of clinical and biomedical discovery. 

Clinical Research Facilities

Underpinning and augmenting research excellence are our facilities and infrastructure.

The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities, expertise, and culture needed to optimally support bioscience research.

It focuses on studies aimed at understanding a range of diseases and translating this knowledge into regulatory approved advances in patient care.

Co-located on hospital grounds the facility is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals (GUH), Saolta and University of Galway.

We also have extensive biomedical laboratories, pre-clinical facilities, biobanks and state-of-the-art GMP compliant cell manufacturing capability. 

Innovation Impact

Our needs-led innovation programme  BioInnovate Ireland allows us to—quite literally—look over the shoulders of surgeons to conceive potential new medical devices. The programme leverages a proven Standford BioDesign framework and guides multidisciplinary teams through a full cycle of innovation, from needs identification to designing and prototyping viable solutions, as well as searching for funding.

Our Innovation Office further supports these and other entrepreneurs as they spin-out companies based on discoveries made through our research.

We help support these companies as they develop their solution and their business, Supports are also in place to help leverage investment and secure FDA and other regulatory approval.

In recent years very successful MedTech companies which have spun out of our university include Aurigen Medical, Atrian Medical, Loci Therapeutics, Tympany Medical, Vetex Medical and Neurent Medical.

Many of these companies are based in our Business Innovation Centre which is focused on developing, scaling and growing the start-up community on campus, in our city and in our region. The centre is home to over 35 companies and supports a wide portfolio of start-up clients.

Meanwhile, the Health Innovation Hub Ireland is co-located with the hospital to work across the health sector with Irish businesses to creatively solve problems and improve patient care.