- The National Health Innovation Centre, Singapore (NHIC) has launched a Clinical Innovation and Adoption Initiative to nurture promising healthtech projects for adoption and scaling across healthcare clusters in Singapore.
- Projects selected can expect to receive funding of up to S$1 million each. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Health and covers three clinical adoption themes: Screening, Diagnostics and Monitoring, and Intervention. The grant call for the first theme will open in November 2022.
- The Clinical Innovation and Adoption Initiative is part of the expansion of NHIC’s programmes to offer a holistic suite of support to power the development and adoption of healthtech innovations in Singapore, and facilitate their eventual commercialisation and scaling in and beyond Singapore, so as to ensure the cost-effectiveness of these innovations through economies of scale.
SINGAPORE, 17 OCTOBER 2022 – Over the past few decades, medical innovation has made great strides to improve clinical management and hospital processes. This has played a key role in improving efficiency, increasing productivity, and optimising care for patients. However, despite such advances, challenges remain in the transition from technology innovations to widespread clinical adoption as standard of care in healthcare.
A new global landscape study found that only 10 to 30 per cent of healthtech innovations are clinically adopted in a widespread manner. The study – based on a survey of approximately 100 key opinion leaders across Australia, Israel, Singapore, UK and the US – also highlighted the need for a clearer pathway for new innovations in digital health, medical devices and therapeutics to be adopted clinically.
New initiative to accelerate adoption of healthtech innovations
To keep Singapore at the forefront of clinical innovation and improve the adoption rates of potentially life-saving health technologies that benefit the population in Singapore, the National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC) is launching a Clinical Innovation and Adoption Initiative to nurture promising and cost-effective healthtech projects for adoption across the healthcare clusters in Singapore to enhance healthcare delivery and patient care. By developing local capabilities and platforms, Singapore will be better positioned to attract international talents and capabilities, and continuously improve our provision of healthcare and health.
Under this new initiative, projects selected can expect to receive funding of up to S$1 million, subject to the scale and complexity of each project. NHIC will also work closely with the project teams to provide strategic guidance on regulatory policies and assist innovators along their commercialisation journey.
The initiative, supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH), will cover three clinical adoption themes: Screening, Diagnostics and Monitoring, and Intervention. The grant call for the first theme will open in November 2022.
Holistic suite of programmes to power healthtech innovations in Singapore
Since its formation in 2014, the NHIC has expanded over the years under the funding support from MOH’s National Medical Research Council, and developed a robust track record in turning innovative healthcare research into commercial enterprises and products that improve patient care and healthcare delivery. In 2020, NHIC was consolidated as a business unit under the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore (CRIS) to facilitate synergies across the key national R&D, and clinical translation and service initiatives under MOH. With the repositioning of NHIC as an integral part of CRIS, the centre has refreshed its brand identity and expanded its programmes accordingly.
In addition to the Clinical Innovation and Adoption Initiative, NHIC will be establishing more public-private partnerships, especially at the early stages of the healthtech commercialisation journey. This includes the areas of venture co-creation and technology development, and the nurturing of tri-competent healthtech talent.
- Venture Co-Creation and Technology Development Partnerships
NHIC will be partnering with Origgin Ventures and Trinity Innovation Bioventure Singapore respectively, to co-create medtech and biotech start-ups arising from home-grown, cost-effective technologies.
NHIC will also be working with Roche and MiRXES to establish open innovation partnerships to explore potential co-development opportunities for clinically and commercially impactful healthtech projects from an early stage.
By working closely with private sector partners from the initial stages of product development, clinician innovators will be able to identify viable commercial pathways for their healthtech innovations early on, and avoid downstream challenges of “technology-push” type innovations where the commercial value of the innovations may not be apparent to the users.
These collaborations play to the respective strengths of the public and private sectors; NHIC would identify and support the achievement of healthcare objectives, while private sector partners would introduce the commercial discipline that prepares the projects to create innovations that are market-ready and investable.
- Nurturing Tri-Competent Healthtech Talent
NHIC will partner SGInnovate to nurture founders and senior innovation project leads with tri-competent capabilities in clinical, technical and commercial experience in the biotech and medtech sectors.
This talent development programme will groom innovators who could assume positions as future founders of home-grown biotech or medtech start-ups, or become innovation leaders at larger biotech and medtech companies.
These talent-in-residence will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world environments, both in public and private sector settings, to experience how to design, develop and bring clinical innovations to market. More information about this programme will be shared at a later date.
“The NHIC now offers a more holistic suite of support to power product ideation, technology development, clinical adoption and commercialisation of healthtech innovations in Singapore. We appreciate our partners for the support over the years and look forward to greater collaborations ahead. It is but the start of an exciting journey and together, we shall continue to forge ahead and break new grounds to power the next generation of healthcare innovations,” said Professor Tina Wong, Executive Director, NHIC.
About the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC)
The National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC), is a nationally-appointed Innovation and Enterprise Office that works with Public Health Institutions across Singapore to identify and commercialise promising clinical innovations. We fund the translation and development of medical innovations from Singapore’s clinical sector, and provide strategic guidance and connection to industry partners, accelerating the pathway to impact in healthcare. NHIC programmes catalyse the translation of clinical innovations towards commercially viable products that benefit patients and healthcare. Established since 2014, we have supported many projects and companies in the development and implementation of innovative medical technologies and services, improving the standard of healthcare in Singapore and beyond. NHIC is part of the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation Singapore (CRIS). Both CRIS and NHIC are supported by MOH’s National Medical Research Council. NHIC is supported under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 IEO Decentralised Core and Decentralised Gap funding initiatives.
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Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore