Spark Seed Funding

Spark Innovators / Seed Funding

Spark sees that it is the people and not just a good idea that make meaningful improvements a success. If you have noticed a problem and whether you have an idea already or not, 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 / your group.

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 in March

We welcome ideas from a range of innovators, all nursing and midwifery, allied health 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 in developing your projects which are affordable, feasible, bring value 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
  2. Design Thinking workshop and process of solution development
  3. Opportunity to pitch for support (the pitch will likely be online on a separate day to the workshop to allow for time to develop your pitch and project)

Due to the popularity of Seed Funding, invitation to our workshops is competitive. 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, AHPs, 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 and one other healthcare provider. The teams will also be invited to attend a workshop to develop their idea using the principles of 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.

The latest Seed Funding call for applications closed on the 9th April 2021. Please follow us on twitter or watch this space for our next funding calls.

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.