euretina innovation awards 2015
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5th EURETINA Science & Medicine Innovation Awards

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought” 
[Albert von Szent-Györgyi, 1893-1986; winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid"]

EURETINA are delighted to continue their highly successful Innovation Awards, originally launched at our annual conference in London in 2011. This year’s Science & Medicine Awards will be similar in structure and will carry two prizes – a first award of €20,000 and a second award of €10,000.

The 2015 EURETINA Science & Medicine Innovation Awards is an exciting initiative sponsored by the Society to support and encourage innovation in the field of retinal medicine.

The purpose of the Science & Medicine Awards is::

  • To support, encourage and reward individuals, who actively consider and develop novel and innovative ideas relevant to the field of retinal research and medicine;
  • To facilitate and support an entrepreneurial culture to deliver new market applications for the ultimate benefit of patients with retinal disorders;
  • To engage and encourage the networking potential of the retinal community across the EU to improve both patient care and outcomes.

Research in retinal medicine has never been more active. Recent developments spanning gene therapy, bio-imaging, instrumentation, surgery, diagnostics and therapeutics, all arising from rapid advances in knowledge and the dissemination of knowledge, have created a fertile environment for innovation. From such innovation our field is poised to create new products, processes, tools and methods through which improved and advanced care can be delivered more efficiently and with greater impact.

EURETINA, conscious of the opportunities and challenges arising from such advances, is ideally placed to support and contribute to the ideas that will seed the practice of tomorrow’s retinal medical care. The challenge with this initiative is for you to look forward and think big!

  • We would like to see ideas on how the way we do things today can be improved tomorrow;
  • We would like to see where your curiosity and ingenuity can take you and how it can be applied;
  • We would like to see and support the best and brightest innovations with the capacity to change how we support and treat patients with retinal diseases.

In respect of the criteria used for evaluating entries to the competition, the Judging Panel will be looking for a number of key elements including:

  • Novelty or “inventiveness”  of the innovation or idea, often referred to as the “X” factor or “a spark of genius”; in acknowledgment of Albert von Szent-Györgyi’s sentiment that “discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought”, we would like to see how your innovation breaks new ground;
  • Feasibility and scalability  of the innovation – the Panel will be looking at the potential of the innovation in terms of technical feasibility and how or if the innovation could be applied, developed and produced on a scale appropriate to commercial exploitation;
  • Scale of market need and economic opportunity – to be successful in the market an innovation should meet a real and growing need and preferably create an economic opportunity that maximizes the difference between revenues and costs;
  • Potential for commercial success – innovations and ideas are more prevalent than you might think, the mix of factors that accelerate an opportunity from an idea to a product on the shelf are complex and non-linear; the Panel will want to understand how your innovation will navigate a path through the challenges of building a commercial success;
  • Intellectual property potential – as innovations in medical technologies can often take several years to develop before a first commercial sale it is often critical to have some manner of intellectual property (IP) protection to safe guard the investment required to build the product, instrument or process; the Panel would like to see how your innovation has a capacity for IP protection and, finally;
  • Quality of information provided – the best innovations and ideas are often the simplest and should be communicated concisely and efficiently; the Panel would like to see well thought out submissions with well reasoned arguments backed up by market research and economic analysis; simply stating that an innovation is self-evidently brilliant is insufficient, each entrant should show, with third party evidence and diligence, HOW and WHY their innovation should win;

The list above is not intended to be exhaustive but is presented to provide an outline of the many elements that combine to create a business opportunity; there is no prescriptive application form, each applicant should strive to submit an application reflecting the points above. Once you register your interest in the Awards on the website you will be able to download a Guide to Submitting an Application which, together with the Terms & Conditions, will provide all the information required to submit your entry.

The EURETINA Science & Medicine Innovation Awards are as much to do with good science and medicine as they are to do with good business. Any compelling scientific or medical rationale will need to be matched by an equally compelling business and economic rationale. The combination of science and business skill is the key to convincing the Panel and your peers of a credible and attractive opportunity for success.

As referenced above, detailed Terms & Conditions are provided on the site and submission of an entry shall be deemed as an acceptance of all Terms & Conditions, including updates thereof. Additional information can be sought by sending an email for the attention of Dr. Gearóid Tuohy to gearoidtuohy@euretina.org

EURETINA would like to take the opportunity to welcome every entrant to the competition. We would also encourage you to spread the word, to tell your colleagues, collaborators and competitors to consider how they might contribute to this important and exciting initiative. EURETINA looks forward to receiving your entries on new ideas and innovations for which the ultimate beneficiary of your efforts will be the patient.

EURETINA wishes the best of luck to all applicants!