I4H Program

Inventors for Health (I4H)


The Stiftung Charité in collaboration with SPARK-BIH have launched a new funding program towards developing breakthrough ideas co-creatively:

Inventors for Health may be individuals employed at the Berlin Institute of Health, the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin or the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, who have novel ideas to address unmet medical needs in the life sciences and medicine.

Inventors can in principle be persons of all career levels and the individual must hold a university degree. Of particular relevance are clinically active persons. The program is open to non-clinical personnel as well, including primarily technical or administrative personnel, provided that their ideas are aimed at inventions in the field of life sciences and medicine.

Generally, the Inventors for Health Program focuses on the early stages of the innovation process and promotes in particular:

  •     the validation of the medical need
  •     the identification and elaboration of the idea
  •     the entrepreneurial skills of the inventor(s)
  •     prototype development with market orientation

The overarching objective of the program is to improve and accelerate the transfer of life science research into concrete products and services of medical benefit. Unlike traditional incubation programs aiming purely at later commercialisation, the I4H program focuses on developing breakthrough medical innovations by developing the people behind the ideas through skill-building, mindset change, and exposure to a network of innovators and medical change-makers - helping our participants to become life-long innovators to the benefit of patients worldwide.


The I4H program is made up of two phases:

  1. In the first phase, inventors develop their idea(s) rapidly through design-based approaches, with help from experts and team-members (accelerators) from other disciplines helping to make the idea more robust.
  2. In the second phase, funded teams advance their ideas to minimally viable products for testing and further development, making use of the Spark Network. Active participation in phase 1 of the program is a pre-requisite for funding.


The Inventors for Health Program – in contrast to already existing innovation promotion instruments with often strong project orientation – is designed as personal funding. Accordingly, the funding itself consists of the competitive award of Inventors for Health Grants of up to 100,000.00 euros each for the release of the Inventor for up to half of his/her own position over a maximum of 18 months (inventor's time) and the provision of project resources.



++++ UPDATE ++++

Between March and July 2019 the first cohort of teams participated in phase one of the program. Projects ranged from medical device development, novel uses of chronotherapy, digital clinic solutions, and paediatric cardiovascular surgical approaches. Of the five teams who participated in the first phase, three were selected to receive funding towards their projects, all of whom will found commercial ventures and continue to develop their product and service ideas with the help of the SPARK-BIH team and the mentorship of the SPARK Network.


+++ Selected for funding 2019:

Dr. med. Jessica Olschewski, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Gynäkologie, Projektname: "(Pre-Education) - Patient empowerment through automated digital education of gynaecological patients on the course of treatment"

PD Dr. Angela Moreira Borralho Relogio, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute for Theoretical Biology (ITB) and Molekulares Krebsforschungszentrum (MKFZ), Projektname: "TimeTeller: A non-invasive method for the molecular and computational characterization of the internal biological clock in humans"

Dr. med. Boris Schmitt, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Pädiatrie m.S. Kardiologie, Projektname: "OGGLUEDER - closure of defects in congenital heart diseases by means of gluing"