The Mayo Clinic has announced a five-year collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, an Irish enterprise development agency, to advance novel medical technologies originating from Mayo Clinic. The announcement was made in Dublin by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the prime minister of Ireland, at the Medical Device 360° conference.

In a blog post on the Mayo clinic’s website, Mayo executives said the collaboration would provide "an alternative source of funding for translational medical research, especially significant at a time when U.S. funding for research is challenging to obtain."

Enterprise Ireland has committed up to $16 million in the agreement.

“This collaboration bridges a financial gap for translational research,” Greg Gores, M.D., executive dean for research at Mayo Clinic, said in the posting. “It provides funding in between the early-stage basic research and the stage when a technology is ready for the marketplace. In the U.S., this stage is expensive and difficult to fund. We are providing the technologies and Enterprise Ireland the funding. Both of us are contributing to technology advancement.”

Mayo will propose technologies, which will be judged on merit by Enterprise Ireland. Research teams in Irish universities and academic institutes will use funding from Enterprise Ireland to further develop and commercialize the chosen technologies, including engineering and clinical trials. Manufacturing and distribution would occur when companies are formed around the resulting products.

Keith O'Neill, Enterprise Ireland's director of life sciences commercialization, said Enterprise Ireland will work with Mayo Clinic to create new companies around the new technologies, and that, as part of the agreement, some of these new companies may also establish a presence near Mayo Clinic's Rochester, Minn. campus, benefiting the local economy there, as well as in Ireland.

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