As the ABIA moves into a new year of operations that work toward our goal of patient-centered innovation, I could not be more pleased with our progress in 2010. Together in Akron, we have pooled our talents and resources to form a new ecosystem of collaboration. After a year of building relationships and developing innovative initiatives, a clear path has been towed toward this region’s future of biomedical leadership.

The innovative and collaborative spirit of ABIA and its partners was a prevalent force in 2010. In July, the City of Akron was acknowledged by the State of Ohio, and designated by Governor Ted Strickland as a Hub of Innovation and Opportunity focused on biomaterials for orthopaedics and wound healing; an outcome of the fierce collaboration on which we as a city have focused our efforts, and an important step toward Akron’s transformation into a model for biomedical discovery and enterprise. In September the ABIA and University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) were one of only six teams awarded the national i6 Challenge for a project which leverages Akron’s resources to increase innovation and minimize the time from idea to commercialization, bringing further distinction to our team of health- and education-focused institutions. These and other accomplishments in 2010 set the stage for a momentous new year.

Among our premier efforts for 2011, ABIA has been called upon to lead a movement that will maintain the competitiveness of our nation in medical device development and commercialization worldwide. The ABIA will join forces with our nation’s leaders in medical devices to formulate a collaborative plan to join the world of frugal engineering, competing with those from across the globe who are actively working to create innovative medical devices that are of lower cost yet equal in quality.

Together with our founding members, ABIA is targeting its efforts to address unmet medical and community health needs. With the combined financial support and intellectual innovations of our stellar team, we are able to work with a fierce intensity to advance commercialization of the next generation of life-enhancing and life-saving innovations.

As always, I encourage you to forward this message to colleagues, friends and others you think would benefit from hearing our story. I look forward to the coming year, and to sharing more good news with you as we continue working to transform Akron into a model for biomedical discovery and enterprise.

Dr. Frank L. Douglas
President and Chief Executive Officer
Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron