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SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Passeig Sant Joan de Déu, 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat

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SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital is part of a European programme for innovation in children's health

Three children from different backgrounds smile at the camera

The SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital takes part in the Wild Card EIT Health programme for innovative startups in pediatric healthcare with the i4Kids Innovation Hub.

The healthcare industry has great potential to change society, and it is an ever increasingly powering the European economy. However, starting and funding innovative projects for proposals focused on pediatric health is not always simple.

To change that, EIT Health was founded as a knowledge and innovation community by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent body of the European Union, in 2015. EIT Health connects healthcare providers across Europe and ties together research, training and funding in innovative projects. It has recently launched the sixth edition of the ‘Wild Card’ programme, the 2023 challenge of which is to invest in childhood and in solutions to improve pediatric health, given that research and development in this collective is lacking. Between 2003 and 2017, only 24% of class III medical devices approved by the FDA were intended for pediatric use.

Solutions aimed at the real needs of pediatric patients

That is why SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital (member of EIT Health through the i4KIDS Innovation Hub) and the Wild Card programme have teamed up for the first time – to collect proposals and projects to combat this situation. The end goal is to fast-track pediatric-centred innovation that has a real impact on children's lives. To focus efforts on the most important areas, a group of children and teenagers called KIDS Barcelona was consulted, who acted as a scientific research committee within the hospital. This group expressed the need to address early-approach pathologies, chronic and rare diseases, and management of acute disease.

How does Wild Card work?

Aspiring members (teams or businesses) should send their participation request before 2 May. Requests will be reviewed by qualified, independent experts, who will assess the candidate's knowledge and the viability of the proposed solution for the given challenge. Finalists will be invited to an online interview to authenticate the value propositions. The final stage will include accepted teams, who will develop a new business model targeted at the real-life application of the proposed innovation model with guided mentor support.