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New Scheme aimed at Supporting the Production of Covid-19 related products announced

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MINISTER HUMPHREYS ANNOUNCES NEW SCHEME AIMED AT SUPPORTING THE PRODUCTION OF COVID-19 RELATED PRODUCTS

  • The COVID Products Scheme will accelerate the production of vital medicines, potential vaccines and essential medical equipment.
  • The scheme allows for grant aid of up to 50% of eligible capital investment.
  • The life sciences sector directly employs over 60,000 people in Ireland.

Thursday June 4, 2020

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced details of a new grant scheme aimed at supporting the production of vital medicines and medical equipment in Ireland. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation received approval for the scheme from the European Commission today.

The COVID Products Scheme has been developed under a new European Commission Temporary Framework that allows additional aid to be granted by EU Member States to companies that are developing or producing medicinal products used in the fight against COVID-19. The scheme will be delivered through IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland under the terms of the Temporary Framework, which is aimed at supporting the research, development, and production of COVID-19 related products in Ireland.

The scheme allows for up to €200m in targeted State support to facilitate the research and development of COVID products, to enable the construction or upgrading of testing and upscaling infrastructures that contribute to the development COVID-19 relevant products, as well as to support the production of products needed to respond to the outbreak.

Minister Humphreys said: “The challenge of COVID-19 is first and foremost a health emergency and we will continue to prioritise the medical response to the pandemic. The intention of this new scheme is to accelerate the production of vital medicines and potential vaccines, along with essential equipment, used in the fight against COVID-19”.

Minister Humphreys continued: “The life sciences sector directly employs over 60,000 people right around the country and virtually all of the world’s top companies have chosen Ireland as a manufacturing base. This new scheme aims to capitalise on that hard-earned reputation and the positive effects of this additional investment will be felt not only in additional direct employment, but also throughout the economy, as many companies based in Ireland are an integral part of the materials and services supply chain”.

The introduction of the scheme will allow IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to generate significant additional capital investment from firms in the life sciences sector, thereby helping the national economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Companies in the pharmaceutical sector, including a number of existing IDA clients, are currently engaged in developing both COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Companies are also seeking to increase manufacturing capacity to meet intense global demand for treatments found to be effective.

CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “This new State Aid Framework sanctioned for Ireland by the EU and targeted at Medicinal products for Covid-19 is a significant step forward.  The Life Sciences sector will be central to creating an environment where human health is protected and economic life can begin to return to normal and this will allow us to support the sector.

“The size and breadth of Ireland’s Life Sciences industry makes us well placed to leverage the Framework to support the industry to quickly respond to Covid-19 demand and form a key pillar in Ireland’s comprehensive economic recovery plan.”

CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon, said: “Enterprise Ireland very much welcomes the announcement of this new scheme.  We have a fantastic cluster of Irish companies in the medtech, engineering, consumer and digital technology sectors in Ireland who have demonstrated the strength of their innovative capabilities in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Driven by the increased demand for lifesaving solutions their response to Covid-19 has positioned the country 6th in the world for Covid19 innovations and will see growth opportunities for this cohort across the globe.  The Commission’s approval of this new scheme will allow us to further support this sector in driving increased innovation and production of products, supporting research and development of Covid-19 products, and enabling the construction or upgrading of testing and manufacturing facilities in Ireland.”

The scheme allows for grant aid of up to 50% of eligible capital investment. This will ensure that the intervention will have a substantial impact on COVID-19 related production and will drive a significant return for the State.

Details on the opening of the scheme will be made available in the coming days. Applications for aid under the scheme must be approved no later than 31 December, 2020.

 

 

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information, members of the media can contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, press.office@dbei.gov.ie or (01) 631-2200

If you no longer wish to receive emails from the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation Press Office, please notify us by email to press.office@dbei.gov.ie

A comprehensive listing of supports, grants, and advice available to businesses affected by COVID-19 is available at dbei.gov.ie/coronavirus.

 

Contact the Business Support Call Centre

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has established a Business Support Call Centre for information on the business supports available to businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19. It can be reached at infobusinesssupport@dbei.gov.ie or (01) 631 2002.

 

 

COVID-19- Challenges and Opportunities for the Medtech Industry Webinar by David Scott

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On the 8th of May 2020 Health Innovation Hub Ireland held a webinar entitled “COVID-19- Challenges and Opportunities for the Medtech Industry”. The webinar was presented by David Scott, Senior Associate with BHSM Solicitors who works in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Department. 

Throughout the webinar David provided a brief overview of the medtech regulatory landscape pre COVID-19. He discussed the responses to COVID-19 from both regulatory and industry perspectives while he also spoke about the challenges and opportunities for the medtech industry post COVID-19. 

We would like to thank David for delivering this webinar and anyone who viewed the webinar on the day. 

Click here to view the webinar slides.

IBEC Digital Health Forum – Digital Health in the Age of Covid-19 – 14/05/2020

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Public Sector Healthcare & Education Members,

Please see below details on our Masterclass in Digital Health Solutions event, which is now being moved to an online format.

Ibec’s Connected Health Skillnet, together with Irish Medtech Association, will host a number of short online meetings over the coming months to share expert insights on how technology is influencing the future of healthcare in Ireland and beyond.

The first event will focus on Digital Health in the Age of COVID-19 where we will discuss some of the Irish innovations that are responding to Coronavirus and how digital health can be a critical tool in the diagnosis, treatment and management of healthcare during times of crisis and beyond. Please see event details below.

Date:                     Thursday, 14th May 2020

Time:                    11:00 – 12:00 (1 hour)

Venue:                 Online – a link to join the online meeting will be sent after registration.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Eamonn Costello, Co-Founder & CEO, patientMpower

patientMpower is a digital healthcare company providing technology solutions for people living with long term illness. The company has developed a remote monitoring solution which enables remote monitoring of otherwise healthy patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms who are in self-isolation in order to preserve capacity in hospitals for those with more severe symptoms or underlying conditions. 

  • Jim O’Donoghue, President, S3 Connected Health

S3 Connected Health partners with pharma, medtech, and healthcare providers to create and operate digital health solutions and connected medical devices that improve the lives of people with acute and chronic conditions. In response to COVID-19 the company has developed ACORRD, a web-based application, helps support healthcare professionals with triage, monitoring, and treatment of patients in-hospital, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

We would be delighted if you or a colleague is free to join us.

Register your place at this (free) forum event here:  https://www.irishmedtechassoc.ie/IBEC/Event~digital-health-forum   **Registration closes 12th May**

Eoghan Ó Faoláin                                                                            Jennifer McCormack

Head of Public Sector Accounts, Ibec                                       Irish Medtech Association Network Executive

Eircode: D02 H720                                                                           Connected Health Skillnet Network Manager

Phone: +353 1 605 1656 / +353 86 0215947                          T: +353 1 605 1537

Social: Twitter Linkedin                                                                 E: jennifer.mccormack@ibec.ie

Web: Ibec – supporting the Irish public sector                     W: www.connectedhealthskillnet.ie

 

 

HIHI PI and Director of the Translational Medical Device Laboratory at NUI Galway,Dr Martin O’Halloran,awarded rapid response funding

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Equipment to make it easier and safer for patients with COVID-19 to breathe

Lead Researchers: Professor Martin O’Halloran and Professor John Laffey, NUI Galway

Science Foundation Ireland award €205,667

Overview

The virus that causes COVID-19 attacks the airways and lungs, which means that people who are ill with the virus can have trouble breathing.

There are pieces of equipment to help these patients, including machines to assist their breathing, and tubes to deliver a flow of oxygen into their nose. Because of COVID-19 though, such equipment is in short supply, and in the case of high-flow oxygen, it may put the attending healthcare workers at greater risk of being exposed to the virus.

A new project led by NUI Galway called INSPIRE will develop new and easy-to-manufacture equipment to help support patients with airway problems while minimising the risk to healthcare workers.

What is the issue?

Patients with COVID-19 who are severely ill often need help to breathe, but equipment to do this is in short supply, and some may increase the risk of the virus spreading to healthcare workers.

What will the research project do?

The INSPIRE project led by NUI Galway will develop a CPAP/BiPAP Hood that can help patients to breathe and that will be easy to manufacture and reuse, and comfortable for patients to use for long periods.

For patients receiving high-flow oxygen therapy, the project will also develop a vacuum-assisted face guard that will collect infectious droplets coming from the patient’s nose or mouth during treatment, reducing the infection risk for healthcare workers.

The initiative will involve an interdisciplinary team of academic researchers, MedTech engineers, frontline healthcare professionals and industry working together to develop these technologies.

What will the potential impact be?

By developing breathing-support equipment that is easy to manufacture and safe to use for patients with COVID-19, the project will reduce risk of infection to front-line healthcare staff and may help reduce the demand on more invasive, mechanical ventilators for patients.

Dr Martin O’Halloran, Director of the Translational Medical Device Laboratory at NUI Galway, says:

This project shows what can be achieved when industry, academia and the HSE come together with a common goal of saving lives during the COVID-19 crisis. Uniquely, the Inspire team is composed of several founders of Irish MedTech companies, a team of NUI Galway researchers, and clinicians and healthcare workers from UHG. The glue holding this diverse team together is a shared commitment to making a real and tangible impact on patient care.”

Originally published by Department of the Taoiseach. Full award list here

Covid-19 – Challenges and Opportunities for the Medtech Industry

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland is delighted to announce that David Scott, BHSM Solicitors, will deliver a webinar entitled “COVID-19- Challenges and Opportunities for the Medtech Industry”. 

 
What:                         Webinar
When:                        8th of May 2020 

Time:                          2:00pm

Who:                          David Scott, Senior Associate, BHSM Solicitors

Register                     HERE 

Webinar:                    
HERE

Have a question:       Join Slido with the event code 31775

Contact:                     Eimer O’Connell, HIHI, (eimer.oconnell@nuigalway.ie)

Patent offices respond to COVID-19

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National patent offices, where patent applications are filed and granted, are implementing measures to reflect the rapid changes to the business environment. Recognising that timelines may be affected by these workplace shifts some allowances have been introduced.  Here KTI shares an overview of some of those extensions.  As the situation is ever-changing, we recommend that those affected visit individual office websites to confirm updates or make contact as directed. 

Intellectual Property Office of Ireland

The IPOI has announced it will remain closed from 13th March until Sunday 19th April 2020 for the transaction of business with the public.  Consequently, these days are deemed to be “excluded days” for all purposed under the Acts and Rules.

Following the Government announcement on 27th March 2020 of further measures aimed at controlling the spread of Covid 19 virus, IPOI staff working remotely will continue to maintain all of its online and e-services including e-filing of applications, electronic fee payments and email enquiries during normal working hours until further notice.  However IPOI staff will not be able to deal with telephone enquiries. For more information visit the IPOI website.

European Patents Office

The EPO is the patent office for Europe. The EPO has advised all time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 have been extended to 17 April 2020.  Further information on this an other implications of COVID-19 can be found on the EPO’s dedicated page relating to Coronavirus updates.

European Intellectual Property Office

The EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trademark and the registered Community design. The EUIPO has issued a statement extending all time limits to 1 May 2020. In practice this means time limits are extended until Monday 4th May as Friday 1st May is a public holiday.  Full details on the nature of this extension can be accessed here where any further updates are also likely to be announced.

 UK Intellectual Property Office

The UK IPO has declared 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days. This means that any deadlines for patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, designs, and applications for these rights, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period. To support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals plan ahead the UK IPO will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period. The latest news can be found here.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

The USPTO has announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. The details for patents and trademarks are quite detailed and more information is available here.

WIPO World Intellectual Property Organisation

WIPO has announced some lee way in relation to international trademark matters although extensions will not be granted automatically as is the case in other offices.  Rather WIPO users must provide sufficient evidence to excuse the delay.  On April 7, WIPO Director General  will deliver a public broadcase which will include some information on the management of Covid-19 and its impact on WIPO services and programs. For more detail visit the WIPO website.

EIT Health UKIRL call for ‘Rapid Response’ projects to address COVID-19

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“Rapid Response” Project Requirements 

• Projects should address the COVID-19 outbreak exclusively and have an “innovative” element.

• Rapid implementation of the project is required. The project should be completed, and the funding spent by the end of2020.

• The project should generate an immediate/short-term impact in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic that can be achieved and measured by the end of 2020.

• The project should generate an impact that can be scaled internationally (in Europe and globally). 

• There should be a solid scientific/technological background that should ensure the safety of patients and healthcare providers.

• The project should include elements of Knowledge Triangle Integration (e.g. university-research-business cooperationelement; research to market pathway etc). 

Please note: Vaccine and drug discovery/development are outside of EIT Health’s scope and will not be supported through the “Rapid Response”.

 

Eligibility Requirements 

Projects should:

 Include at least one EIT Health Core or Associate Partner.
 Have partners from at least one CLC/InnoStars. Note: In case of a large number of proposals, preference will be given to proposals that include partners from more than one CLC/InnoStars and have a higher impact on other regions.
 Observe the regular cost-eligibly rules of EIT-funded projects outlined in H2020 AGA.
• Observe the regular co-funding rules for “for-profit” EIT Health partners (bring at least 30% co-funding).
 External Project Partners need to be registered in one of the EU Member States or countries associated with Horizon 2020 to be eligible for the EIT funding.
• Maximum funding per project is €600,000.
Please note: 

• KCA contribution and additional co-funding will be appreciated.

• No financial contribution to EIT Health sustainability is required for the “Rapid Response” projects.

How to apply 

On-going projects that have the potential and interest to make adaptations to current work plans for rapid response are invited to first contact their respective CLC/InnoStars Directors for consultation and, if approved, submit their proposal through the online submission platform.

Proposals for new ideas can be submitted directly through the online submission platform.

Please submit proposals through the submission platform by 8 April 2020, 16.00 CET. 

We expect granting decisions on first projects by 15 April 2020 (others may follow as more budget becomes available).

 

HIHI Education – programmes update

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HIHI Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation

The HIHI/TCD Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation is unaffected and will continue delivering online.  If you need more information, please contact the Course Coordinator: Michelle Armstrong – michelle.armstrong@tcd.ie.

Entering its second year, the Postgraduate is now open for applications for the 2020/21 cohort. There are a limited number of scholarships available to HSE staff. More here.

HIHI Innovation Workshops

The final HIHI Workshop in the series, is postponed for now, due to the current health situation. Many of the attendees are working directly in this situation. HIHI is keen that each should have the opportunity to complete the HIHI workshop series. As a result, Workshop 5 – the presentation workshop, is postponed until further notice.

If you have any questions in the meantime: galvinei@tcd.ie