Morgan Foundation Support Helps Accelerate Biomedical Innovation, Train Young Professionals

Austen BioInnovation Institute Gains Funding from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation to Accelerate Biomedical Innovation, Train Young Professionals

  • Funds to help enhance culture of biomedical innovation and train future healthcare entrepreneurs and researchers
  • Foundation increases institute’s initial request and expands impact on growing biomedical field

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) has been awarded $100,000 from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation to accelerate the development of promising patient-centered innovations while developing a next-generation workforce through hands-on experience in what it takes to advance a product to market. The award will allow ABIA professionals to expand their efforts to support a culture of biomedical innovation in Akron and across Ohio while encouraging collaboration among diverse health, science, engineering and entrepreneurial professionals.

The Morgan Foundation’s grants increased what ABIA originally sought, with an additional $50,000 for ABIA’s Technology Development Fund to develop and commercialize new biomedical technologies and $50,000 for graduate student internships to assist and help create biomedical companies.

“It is at the core of our mission to support ABIA in its efforts to develop a highly skilled and innovative workforce, while simultaneously fostering the growing biomedical sector in Northeast Ohio and across the state,” said Deborah Hoover, president of the Morgan Foundation. “ABIA’s value to Northeast Ohio’s brightening economic future cannot be overstated.”

ABIA President and CEO Dr. Frank L. Douglas expressed gratitude for the Morgan Foundation’s generosity and support for fueling the growing biomedical expertise in Ohio.

“This demonstration of support from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation not only helps with our focus on patient-centered product innovation and preparing the next-generation workforce, it further strengthens the region’s ability to compete effectively in the global economy,” Dr. Douglas said.  “By providing advanced students with genuine front-line opportunities, we bolster our workforce and reinforce speed-to-market best practices that make the state more competitive.”

Through the internship program, engineering, law and business graduate students help ABIA professionals evaluate new biomedical concepts. The program, which has already helped to train more than 20 interns, allows emerging professionals to gain important entrepreneurial skills including market potential assessment, prototyping, identifying and resolving design, manufacturing and regulatory issues and development of commercialization and marketing plans for eventual licensable technology or new startup companies.

The ABIA Technology Development Fund facilitates the further development of novel technologies that have been shown to have significant commercial and clinical potential. The fund also can be used for prototype development and regulatory planning and testing to develop a new innovation to a stage where a company can be created and eventually introduced to the market.