Turn your ideas into high-impact innovations

Julio Mayol, Norberto Malpica, Ignacio Navarro Arrate, and Javier Colas describe IDEA2 Madrid and its value to emerging biomedical technology innovators

Do you have ideas for new biomedical technologies? Would you like to have the guidance of experts in academia, hospitals and industry? 

IDEA² Madrid helps Madrid’s emerging biomedical technology innovators and entrepreneurs refine their project ideas and connect with the expertise to help realize them. All finalists receive:

  • Sessions to present and refine their projects with M+Visión faculty from Boston and Madrid—part of our IDEA3 Innovation Method
  • Connections to catalysts (mentors) in Boston and Madrid who will help sharpen projects’ focus
  • Training in communicating to diverse audiences of potential collaborators and funders

What is IDEA² Madrid?

IDEA² Madrid is a program of the Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium, modeled on the program launched at Harvard and MIT, designed to help Madrid’s emerging biomedical innovators and entrepreneurs refine their project ideas and get the guidance and expertise to realize them. It is focused on developing innovative medical technologies and businesses that could solve important problems in healthcare.


2015 IDEA2 Madrid finalists announced
2014 IDEA2 Madrid finalists announced
2013 IDEA2 Madrid finalists announced
2012 IDEA2 Madrid finalists announced

Identifying and clearly defining problems is a crucial but often underestimated challenge in modern research and innovation. Much of the success in a research initiative—and achieving impact—lies in selecting and solving the right problems. The IDEA² Madrid program is designed to provide researchers early in their careers (such as graduate students, post-docs, and early professionals) with a structured process that guides, mentors, and supports problem definition and development.

IDEA² Madrid engages individuals from many sectors, such as the academy, government, and industry, in the process of selecting and developing problems. It also reduces barriers that naturally arise between these sectors, providing an opportunity for involvement by those normally excluded from the academic process, and increasing the projects’ potential for high impact. These engagements promote the development and growth of professional networks that are so critical to professional success.

IDEA² Madrid is a multi-component process that turns an idea into IDEA² by:

  • Identifying a worthy area for inquiry and development. Applicants are expected to have defined an area of interest, an unmet need, and have an idea for addressing that need. Together, the need and idea form the opportunity for impact.
  • Defining achievable opportunities for impact. Through a small team of mentors (catalysts), IDEA² Madrid finalists and fellows will evaluate, develop, and more clearly define the opportunity, assess the potential impact, and establish goals and milestones.
  • Enabling concentrated effort with resources that allow the IDEA² Madrid finalists and fellows to focus on the right problem at the right time.
  • Accelerating progress through collaboration. The M+Visión network enables connections and associations with individuals from all sectors, disciplines, and professions in order to help accelerate progress towards the goals.

“IDEA² Madrid showed me how important it is to make your idea understood … I thought that all the people who were talking to me were doctors, or they understood medicine. But they aren’t. They are from business, from medical sector industries, different sectors. … [The Catalysts] gave me the ability to understand my own project.Sara Martínez Díez, IDEA² Madrid Finalist

Why participate?

  • To gain an early experience in independently defining, articulating, and defending an idea
  • To gain experience in developing and learning how to engage a network of advisors from different disciplines, professions, and sectors
  • To become eligible to apply for the M+Visión travel grant
  • To gain access to the M+Visión Consortium network; a partnership of leaders in science, medicine, engineering, business, and the public sector dedicated to strengthening Madrid’s position as a global center of biomedical research by accelerating innovation in biomedical imaging, promoting translational research, and encouraging entrepreneurship
  • To become eligible for the IX madri+d awards and to gain additional mentor experience with Red de Mentores Madrid, both programs of the Fundación madri+d

Who is eligible?

Any individual or group of individuals interested in biomedical technologies including graduate technical, business or medical students, post-docs, residents, and early professionals working in any sector (business, medical, academic, etc.), in the Madrid Community.

  • Applicants must be in Madrid during the mentoring period.
  • Applicants must have an idea for a research program or business concept
  • Applicants may submit multiple pre-proposals. However, only 1 pre-proposal can be selected for full proposal development.
  • Applicants must be fluent in English.

What is the process?

The process begins with interested and eligible candidates submitting a short pre-proposal for a research or business idea. Following review by a diverse panel, selected candidates are identified as IDEA² Madrid finalists. Finalists are assigned 2-4 “Proposal Catalysts” (mentors) who, over the subsequent 2-4 month period, provide advice towards the development of a full proposal. Finalists present their full proposal orally, also before a diverse review panel. Selected finalists are appointed as IDEA² Madrid awardees.

More information

To learn more about IDEA² Madrid, contact Sandra Widland at swidland@mit.edu.

Beyond IDEA² Madrid

In addition to continued connections with the M+Visión network, IDEA² Madrid docks with Fundación madri+d. The Fundación works closely with M+Visión to provide resources and services to assist IDEA² Madrid finalists during their proposal development, and to provide additional supports and services once the finalist completes the IDEA² Madrid program.