Innovation Unit

Innovation Unit

The Innovation Unit of the Health Research Institute (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria) of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos provides impetus, support, and dissemination to entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas in the health-technological field, with the aim of developing projects that can become future products and services that improve the quality of life of patients and provide a return to society as a whole.


In 2010, the Instituto de Salud Carlos III created the ITEMAS Network, a network aimed at promoting healthcare innovation with a clear objective: to change the model of knowledge transfer, foster collaboration between companies in the healthcare sector and medical professionals as representatives of hospitals and develop new technologies that provide better care for patients. The IdISSC’s Innovation Unit arose as a result of this call and since then, its efforts have focused on “infecting” the concept of innovation and promoting the innovative culture in the hospital’s day-by-day work, supporting the innovator, communicating and disseminating the knowledge generated in this institution.

Smart Health

Smart Health, the brand of the Innovation Unit, was born as an innovative initiative in the conceptualisation, design, and development of transformative solutions with technological support, based on unresolved problems and unmet needs in the health sector, raised by citizens, professionals, or social or health managers.

The Smart Health LAB is the laboratory facet of Smart Health, created for the development of mobile health technologies, which was created within the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, and whose mission is to bring health closer to patients through ICT, with a special focus on mobile health.

Ideas Incubator

The Ideas Incubator is an initiative of the IdISSC’s Innovation Unit whose aim is to promote and disseminate innovative projects related to the health sector. Therefore, it is a meeting platform for the convergence of the different profiles that allow the generation of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship suitable for the development of projects. Thematic sessions are held monthly in different areas, where both hospital staff and other healthcare stakeholders (companies in the sector, institutions, and other hospital centres) present innovative ideas from different fields, bringing together in this forum knowledge from different areas: healthcare, research, technology, communication, and industry. The Ideas Incubator is also a registered trademark since 2011 of the Innovation Unit and the Health Research Institute (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria) of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos.