Design on the Frontline

Design on Frontline header___

Design on the Frontline

Design on the frontline was an initiative prompted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This initiative addressed the challenges for frontline staff and patients in the form of a competition for student and professional designers. These designers brought forward creative and innovative solutions to our 3 design briefs which we hope can be brought forward and be used successfully in the HSE.

Project Brief
-          Design a solution/product that demonstrates a measurable benefit to any element of the Irish Healthcare eco-system.
-          Suggested project topics:

While we are interested to hear about any solutions, we have created three areas which may provide further inspiration.
1)      How might we shift patients and users of the healthcare services from acute hospital settings to primary and homecare settings?
2)      How might we improve patient and/or healthcare professional workers experience in a hospital setting?
3)      How might we improve healthcare services in a hospital setting?

Design on the Frontline 2021-2022 – Spark Scholars

Following the success of Design on the Frontline, we want to bring this initiative back in the form of a scholarship programme to establish stronger collaboration between the Design and Healthcare communities at a grassroots level. It is our hope through this initiative that we can create a strong foundation of collaboration in order to solve clinical problems in the healthcare service in Ireland. We will be offering 12 scholarships of €1,000 to design students in 6 different design schools across the country. The selected Spark Scholars will present their work at National Showcase on May 27th 2022. At the showcase, our scholars will compete against each other to be crowned the winner of Design on the Frontline receiving a grand prize of €3,000.

Why is the HSE conducting this initiative?

The HSE is a challenging environment for patients and healthcare professionals alike; we feel through collaboration with designers that we can alleviate or improve the challenges which currently exist in our healthcare system.

  • The Spark Innovation Programme is keen to support innovations and changes in all forms. We are delighted to bring forward an initiative which supports young designers who may have an impact on the future of our healthcare system.
  •  Our hope is that your project may be supported, scaled and implemented to impact patients or staff on a local, regional or national level.


  • The solution created must be healthcare related and be demonstrated in a physical way (product or demonstration of solution). This may be supported by service and digital elements.
  • The Spark Scholars must be willing to showcase their work in person and via social media channels.
  • The HSE will not own proprietary rights to the project – however we hope to work with projects in the post showcase to bring them forward to fruition for the benefit of patients and staff.


  • The winner will be selected by an expert panel and the public with the voting equal to 75% and 25% respectively.
  • The public will be able to view our Spark Scholar’s designs in video format 2 weeks prior (May 6th 2022) to the National showcase. A voting system will be put in place.
  • The videos will be placed on the design on the frontline website
  • Further information on judging is on our information sheet below.

For further information please review our document regarding the scholarship Design on the Frontline Information Sheet.pdf (size 337.2 KB). We encourage students of the relevant design schools to apply. Please find a copy of our application form Design on the Frontline Application Form 2021-2022-1.docx (size 225.2 KB)

We wish the applicants for the Design on the Frontline Scholarships good luck and look forward to seeing your innovative and creative designs!

brief 1-3