All eyes on Galway as healthcare entrepreneurs get set to compete

Funding of €4 million on the line as entrepreneurs take part in EIT Health Wild Card

Wild Card: At the Edge takes place from April 16th to 20th across several venues in Galway city. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Wild Card: At the Edge takes place from April 16th to 20th across several venues in Galway city. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons


Healthcare entrepreneurs will travel to Galway next week to compete for €4 million in funding and a place in the final stage of the EIT Health Wild Card initiative.

The event, Wild Card: At the Edge, is being hosted in partnership with Galway-based BioInnovate and BioExel and takes place from April 16th to 20th.

It is the tournament stage of the initiative, and will see teams of healthcare entrepreneurs complete challenges to win funding, business supports and mentorship. Among the locations are the Portershed co-working space, NUI Galway campus and the Salthill Hotel.

The EIT Health Wild Card initiative is a competition sponsored by the European Union seeking technological solutions to data usage and antibiotic resistance, two of the most pressing healthcare challenges.

“At the edge is about pushing our shortlisted finalists to the limits of their abilities, to the edge of science, innovation and technology,” said Jan-Philip Beck, chief executive of EIT Health.

“Wild Card is looking for the biggest and brightest minds to help solve some of Europe’s most pressing healthcare challenges,” he added.

Research hub

Galway beat competition from a number of other European cities to host the event, coming top due to its position as a hub for innovation and healthcare research.

“It’s a wonderful achievement for Galway to be picked as the host of Wild Card: At the Edge. The city is internationally recognised as a centre for medtech and healthcare, and At the Edge will allow the local business and science community to show off their expertise and talents to some of Europe’s most promising healthcare innovators,” said Dr Paul Anglim, strategic development lead at BioInnovate. “In the future, this could lead to deeper collaboration between Galway and European healthcare leaders.”

Among the challenges are Smart Health, which gives entrepreneurs the task of using artificial intelligence to improve patient care and provide more personalised healthcare solutions, and Fight Back, which is seeking innovative solutions to tackle antibiotic resistance.

The ultimate winners will form two teams and receive €2 million in funding, access to mentorship, business and research support, and facilities and premises across Europe, over two years.