GOVERNANCE AT DIGITAL HEALTH CLUSTER
The Cluster is an industry and ecosystem focused group of Irish digital health companies. The primarily focus is small medium enterprises, but we also have funded start-ups, multinationals and other partners that support the Irish digital health sector. The Cluster has a national remit and leverages shared local resources and aligned technologies pertaining to the broad definition of digital health.
The Cluster is jointly funded Enterprise Ireland Regional Technical Cluster Fund but is developing and industry membership contribution to be sustainable. We are hosted in the new Atlantic Technological University. The Cluster operates across Healthcare, Medtech, Pharma/Biotech and ICT sectors. Clusters actively engages the Quadruple Helix (healthcare, academia, government, sectoral support agencies, other aligned Clusters and the public nationally and internationally) i.e. all aspects of the Irish digital heath ecosystem.
The Cluster forms links and partnership alliances. These alliances actively collaborate in areas such as specialist technology and / or commercial workstreams, academic research, expertise or innovation projects, training and education, regulatory, Internationalisation and much more. The Cluster promotes active participation over networking in the theme of collaborating to innovate. The Cluster will have less than 50 active members and participation is critical to successful outcomes. Successful clusters facilitate co-opetition whereby some members may compete in output markets but co-operate in other aspects such as expertise, shared assets, joint tenders or fundraising.
If you are involved in digital health, please reach out and engage with us and we welcome your participation to support and grow Irish Digital Health Companies and the Digital Health Cluster.
The Cluster aims are as follows:
To be an industry led and sponsored cluster with focus on the broad areas of digital health in the national ecosystem.
To assist those members to generate value, growth, to collaborate to innovate, and internationalise.
As a Cluster the emphasis is primarily on active participation in the form of collaboration to innovate and co-opetition among members. The Cluster is much more than a network.
Support the national ecosystem and community growth and development.
GOVERNANCE POLICY AND STRUCTURE
Cluster Management Fundament
Strategic Pillars & Initiatives
The Cluster undertakes regular annual strategic reviews. There are 7 core pillars in the current strategy. Along with the core aims these strategic pillars determine the priorities and activities undertaken by the Cluster.
Workstreams (Commercial / Technical Mix)
The Cluster also adopts workstreams around specific targets areas. Workstreams may vary in their focus, make-up and structure. The following initial Cluster workstreams are being considered:
Digital Technical, Regulatory and Clinical Compliance – Although Ireland has a developed support structure for the MedTech Cluster. It does not have as developed regulatory and clinical support structure for digital health within the Medtech space. This proposed workstream will bring CTO members, industry experts and association, academics and consultants together to support each other, members and the wider ecosystem. This workstream will focus on:
Quality Management Systems (e.g. ISO 13485)
US FDA 21 CFR
EU CE / MDR
Software as a medical device (SAMD) & Electronics
Core medical technologies: AI, IoMT, Machine Learning, electronics, digital therapeutics.
The Cluster Manager is part of National Standards Authority of Ireland Technical Committee TC21 Health Informatics.
2. Data Analytics:
Healthcare data analytics
Lifesciences data analytics
Health Insurance – The Cluster has a significant number of members in this space.
Potential for a regional chapter
There are no immediate plans to develop any regional chapters. However, the Cluster has developed strong alliances with national and international clusters and international markets of interest.
2. Industry Steering Committee
The Cluster is governed by an industry led Steering Committee. This will be made up from a Chair, Cluster Manager and mix of industry and active members from the digital health ecosystem. The profile and make-up of the Steering Committee will be posted here soon. It is expected that the Steering Committee will meet on at lease 4 occasions for each annual calendar year.
3. Host Institution
The Cluster is hosted in the Innovation Hub of the Atlantic Technological University (ATU), Galway City Campus. ATU is a key member of the MedTech Cluster in the West. Although the Cluster does not work exclusively with ATU it is a key partner, enabler and support in the West Region.
4. Annual General Meeting
An annual general meeting is convened to review agenda and minutes, governance and policy compliance and proposed amendments, strategy and priorities and any other business. Agendas and minutes are retained and published to paid members.
5. Strategic Planning
Form a strategy based on the inputs from Voice of industry members, Funder (Enterprise Ireland RTCF framework), Host institute, partners, international trends.
6. Governance Guide & Code of conduct
A new governance guide for the Cluster is under development and will be issued to the Steering Committee in Q4 2022 for ratification. This will be followed by the development of a code of conduct encompassing behavioural norms in 2023.
7. Data, Privacy & Confidentiality
The Cluster has a Gdpr policy please see attached link: Gdpr Policy
COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION
Logo, Branding, Website, Professional social media, Webinars
The initial website was designed as part of an industry placement program with National University of Ireland, Masters Students in the Management Information Systems and Business fulltime postgraduate program. The students focused on a website design, a customer relationship management tool (CRM) and related domain, hosting and business requirements.
The Cluster uses periodic webinars, podcasts and professional social media in order to promote the Cluster, it’s members and the Irish national digital health ecosystem. The Cluster is currently running a series of webinars on internationalisation. Some of these webinars may be repeated in 2023.
A series of interviews are planned for Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Academics, Clinicians from the National and where possible international digital health ecosystem
MEMBERSHIP SUSTAINABILITY (CLUSTER FINDING)
Membership Sustainability / Cluster Funding (Membership Subscriptions, Sponsorship, Paid events & Grants). The Cluster has been initially funded primarily by Enterprise Ireland under the Regional Technical Cluster Fund. In addition, the host institute Atlantic Technological University has provided additional funding, supports and resources.
In order to sustain a vibrant Cluster to support this ecosystem additional forms of funding in terms of industry membership subscriptions, paid events / initiatives, grants and sponsorship will be required. A membership subscription model is currently being developed and it is expected industry contributions will commence on 2023.
EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATION
The Cluster works very closely with the full ecosystem with representatives from the quadruple helix. Where possible the Cluster shall collaborate with industry, industry associations, government agencies, commercial and not-for-profit organisations that service the Irish digital health ecosystem and in some cases, internationally. The Cluster will collaborate and form partnerships in preference to replicating existing supports or services in the Irish MedTech Cluster. The Cluster regularly engages with benchmarking and collaborating with all island and international Clusters servicing digital health.
ENTERPRISE IRELAND, REGIONAL TECHNICAL CLUSTER FUND (RTCF)
The Cluster is funded by Enterprise Ireland under the RCTF Fund ( www.enterprise-ireland.com/RTCF ).
The Regional Technology Cluster fund (RTCF) was launched by Enterprise Ireland in 2020, Under Project Ireland 2040. Through this competitive RTCF, Enterprise Ireland has funded 12 Educational Outreach or Cluster Managers on a multi annual basis who were appointed in 2020 & 2021 in various Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and Technological Universities (Tus) across the landscape of Ireland.
The objectives of the Cluster Managers are to support IoTs / TUs to increase their engagement and connectivity with SMEs in particular, and industry in line with their research and educational remit, thereby strengthening enterprise productivity. The development of enterprise clustering in identified sectors/thematic areas is to foster increased SME productivity, drives SME competitiveness, and support internationalisation activity.