Spark Seed Funding

Spark Innovators / Seed Funding

Spark sees that it is people and not just good ideas that make meaningful improvements a success. If you have noticed a problem in your clinical area, whether you have an idea already or not, and if you are interested in learning about how to use healthcare design principals to improve your unit/hospital/etc. we want to hear from you!

After learning about design and innovation, Spark Innovators will have the opportunity to pitch for micro-funding for their own project to get it started (up to €3,000 available per individual or group).

Applications for individual and group projects open August 16th 2021!

We welcome ideas from a range of innovators, all nursing and midwifery, health and social care professionals and doctors are encouraged to apply. We want to help you to develop solutions; from process improvements, to the introduction of new devices. Preference is given to those who show enthusiasm for bringing about positive change and making meaningful improvements where you work. We will help you to develop your projects which are affordable, feasible, bring value to your service and have the potential to be scaled up. Funding is awarded on a once-off basis.

Spark Funding has previously been awarded to support:

In-Room Rehabilitation and Well-Being during the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Initiative to Improve Care Delivery in an Older Persons Rehabilitation Setting
An Educational Radiology Resource for NCHDs
“Stop and Watch tool” a non-numerical early warning score that picks up user deterioration before any changes in observations
An illustrated workbook so children know what to expect and are less frightened when attending hospital for a procedure under anaesthesia 
Developing an information campaign on which inhalers are the most environmentally friendly
Online health solutions for post-COVID fatigue syndrome
Supporting older adults to use video consultation technology during COVID 19
There are three steps involved in Spark Seed Funding:

1. Online application (See below)
2. Design Thinking Workshop and process of solution development
3. Opportunity to pitch for support (the pitch will likely be on a separate day to the workshop to allow for time to develop your pitch and project)
Due to the popularity of Seed Funding, only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend our Design Thinking Workshop. Attendance at a workshop is mandatory to receive funding but doesn’t guarantee that funding will be offered.. 

You can apply by yourself or as part of a group interested in learning about innovation

1. Individual Innovator Applications

NCHDs, HSCPs, nurses and midwives are invited to submit applications for funding for projects led by individuals. The most promising applications will be shortlisted to attend a workshop to develop their problem and potential solutions and later invited to do a pitch presentation. Funding will be allocated to the strongest projects.

2. Group Innovator Applications

Multidisciplinary team applications are highly encouraged. Applications for funding are open to groups that contain at least one NCHD, one nurse or midwife or one oHSCP and one other healthcare professional. The teams will also be invited to attend a workshop to develop their idea using the principles of design.

 Apply Here

If you need help further developing your idea or have any questions about the initiative, please contact spark@hse.ie

Application requirements: 

All applications must be made online using the online application form. The application form asks you to think about problems you have encountered and how you go about solving such problems with a human-centred approach. You do not have to have a fully thought out solution to apply for funding, we hope that through the process and from what you learn at the workshop if selected, that the solution will have evolved from what you might have thought before.

Applications will be shortlisted based on the following criteria:

Quality of application, ability to convey their answers succinctly and with impact
Display an eagerness to learn about the principles of healthcare design and innovation
Willingness to develop / change a current idea they have based on what is taught at the workshop
Collaboration/stakeholder involvement
Previous recipients of Spark Seed Funding can apply again with a new project in mind or for new phases of previous projects.

Applications for this round of Spark Seed Funding will close on Friday 24th September 2021. Please follow us on Twitter @ProgrammeSpark or Instagram @spark_programme and watch this space for our next funding calls!

If your project is selected for Spark Seed Funding, you must attend a Design Thinking workshop on the 5th or 8th of October 2021. Following this, you will make a pitch for funding to our judges! Please ensure you or a member of your team is available on either of these days to attend the workshop. Non-attendance to the workshops will make you ineligible for funding.

If you have any questions about Spark Seed Funding please email  spark@hse.ie and we will get back to you as soon as we can.