Dr. Natalie Walsh

Co-lead, PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway

Dr Natalie Walsh is the Director of Entrepreneurial Development at the University of Galway.  She has worked in higher education for over sixteen years with senior roles in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  

Natalie’s experience and expertise spans areas including leadership, strategic planning, project and grant management, finance and human centred design.  Natalie holds an MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management from the University of Galway and has completed her PhD in Trinity College Dublin using role identity theory to explore the paradox of academic researchers commercialising their research.

From a human centred design perspective, Natalie together with her team are leading on two significant projects focussed on transformation change with the University.  Designing Futures is a HEA funded project focussed on transforming the student experience.  A key deliverable of this project is the establishment of an Empathy Lab, the first of its kind within the Irish Higher Education Sector, which will focus on combining the science of human behaviour with the art of human-centred design and utilise a ‘me’ and ‘we’ empathy into action approach. The lab will use a mix of human simulation and virtual reality to cultivate an empathic culture across the campus.  The second project is a European Institute of Technology award, which focuses on International innovation capacity with a strong focus on patient and public engagement.

Additional projects within the units portfolio including EIT Health funded projects Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, SCI FI, Innovation Days and ENERGHY- A summer School focussed on citizen centric solutions that seek to democratise health globally

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