Health Innovation Hub Ireland national director Dr Tanya Mulcahy. Image: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The All-Island Medtech SMEs project plans to improve medtech adoption in secondary care across Ireland’s healthcare systems.

A new cross-border partnership aims to push past the procurement barriers impacting medtech SMEs and public healthcare systems.

The All-Island Medtech SMEs (AIMS) is bringing together various stakeholders such as businesses and academics.

The project’s overall goals are to develop a framework to support procurement and improve medtech adoption in secondary care across the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The project is being delivered by Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and the Health Innovation Research Alliance in Northern Ireland (HIRANI).

HIHI national director Dr Tanya Mulcahy said smaller businesses are often “precluded from the procurement process”.

“AIMS will look at how we can address barriers such as these so that indigenous medtech can scale and grow and our health systems can choose from a wider pool of innovation,” Mulcahy said.

MedTech Innovator is a nonprofit global competition for medical and digital health tech companies. Last May, MedTech Innovator CEO Paul Grand told that he saw Ireland as one of the strongest performing countries in the innovator every year. Ireland had the highest representation of any country in the 2022 innovator.

“The Irish medtech ecosystem, particularly in Galway and Dublin, is amazing,” Grand said. Many MedTech Innovator companies that made it to the finals over the years have been from Ireland.”

HIRANI programme manager Dr Siobhán McGrath said the AIMS project is ambitious because the members can see ways to ensure Irish medtech SMEs “thrive in the indigenous market”.

“Through creating a network of health stakeholders North and South, capturing common challenges, sharing knowledge in relation to all-island supply chains and procurement channels, we can deliver this,” McGrath said.

AIMS is funded by InterTradeIreland’s Synergy initiative, which aims to boost cross-border collaboration among SMEs and other groups such as universities, third sector organisations and government agencies.

Last year, the Synergy initiative supported a series of cross-border networking events, with the goal of boosting collaboration between tech start-ups in the Republic and Northern Ireland.