Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Commercialization Clinic Launched

The University of California Davis Health System received a two year $600,000 National Science Foundation “Partnerships for Innovation” grant to develop a Medical Technology Commercialization Clinic. The project will train students on how to translate innovative technologies developed in university laboratories into useful marketable products to advance patients health.

The grant will fund a multidisciplinary collaborative partnership of scientists, educators, and business leaders to stimulate economic development. The goal is to build a robust infrastructure to develop innovative medical technology as well as build up a diverse workforce.

The Clinic will use live and virtual forums to give graduate and postdoctoral students in biomedical sciences, engineering, and business, hands-on-training to convert high impact research into new treatments and products. This model will help to overcome the existing challenges to university technology transfer, which often focuses on discovering new knowledge and therapeutic applications rather than on business strategies. The students will gain entrepreneurship training and strategies to use to commercialize research projects.

A product now in development is a new endoscope that combines microscopic imaging and ultraviolet auto fluorescence for non-invasive real-time detection of cells progressing toward cancer in the esophagus.

The partnership will work with the UC Davis Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology plus other departments, centers and programs at UC Davis, and with Sacramento State University, a regional resource for medical technology entrepreneurs interested in researching, developing and testing new concepts and medical device prototypes.

Other partners include Fisk University, Los Rios Community College District, Pride Industries, T2 Venture Capital, Wavepoint Ventures, and the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento.