BioInnovation Academy

ABIA’s BioInnovation Academy Encourages Students to Approach Health Issues with an Entrepreneurial Spirit

More than 30 Northeast Ohio high school students participated in the 2017 BioInnovation Academy, a program that encourages students from around the region to explore solutions to real-life health and medical problems. The cross-disciplinary week-long sessions aim to inspire further interest in science, technology, engineering, math and medical fields, as well as stimulate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

During separate, week-long sessions – held in July and August – area students worked with both their peers and experts to investigate the root causes and possible solutions for various medical-related problems. The Academy included students from both public and private schools throughout Northeast Ohio. The Academy, now in its fourth year, used clinical simulation, experimental learning and educational lectures to show students how and why incidents occur and then provide them with a way to explore novel solutions.

As part of each session, students formed small teams and interacted with a variety of professionals, including physicians, engineers, researchers and marketing professionals, to gain a better understanding of both the problem and comprehensive nature of medical innovation.

Time was split between instruction and self-directed project work, and included exposure to various simulation environments in the Austen Simulation Center for Safety and Reliability, including its mock hospital, and ABIA’s product development facilities. Student teams conducted hands-on work to build a prototype of their potential solution and learned how entrepreneurs take a potential solution to market.  At week’s end, students presented their ideas and solutions to a panel of judges who chose a winning team.

The week’s schedule involved:
  • Monday – Learning about the problem and investigating current solutions before brainstorming a new idea with a team;
  • Tuesday – Exploring engineering approaches and computer-aided design, and starting prototyping work;
  • Wednesday – Refining an idea to create a prototype, as well as learning how to present the possible solution to customers and others;
  • Thursday – Learning about what it takes to bring a solution to the marketplace through a startup company, reaching users of the product, and how to manufacture the product; and
  • Friday – Pitching the problem and potential solution to a group.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, tuition for each participating student to attend BioInnovation Academy was covered in 2017.