Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration (ISIX)

“Our regional prosperity and economic security are dependent on an effective and vibrant innovation system.” -Dr. Luis Proenza – President, The University of Akron

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), a unique collaboration of public, private and philanthropic organizations, and the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) were awarded the Chicago region’s i6 Challenge award, winning $1 million for their “Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration (ISIX)” project which aims to increase innovation and minimize the time from idea to commercialization of new technologies by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the biomedical device/product and polymer science industries of Northeast Ohio.

ISIX encompasses a process to increase the number and quality of ideas at the head of our innovation pipeline; provide early assessment for commercial potential; facilitate Proof-of-Concept prototyping in ABIA’s Medical Device Development Center and Center for Clinical and Community Health Improvement; identify and resolve design, manufacturing, or regulatory issues; and develop appropriate commercialization and marketing plans, be it licensing or start-up. This process will be reinforced by the incorporation of experienced, effective entrepreneurial leadership at all stages of developing technologies and companies, with each step in the Innovation Process supported by appropriate funding sources. The outcomes of this Innovation Process include the creation of new companies and increased jobs associated with the biomedical and polymer science industries in the Northeast Ohio region. As a result of unprecedented financial support and cooperation between private, public and philanthropic organizations, ABIA has embarked on an ambitious mission to play a role in the development of 60 spin-out companies, create more than 2,000 new jobs in Northeast Ohio and increase grant funding to its partner institutions by $150 million over the next ten years.  Located in the City of Akron and a designated Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity, ABIA will be better able to accomplish this mission.

ISIX incorporates the Akron Model Innovation Process which was created to help realize the project’s goals. The Akron Model Innovation Process focuses on three elements which include increasing the quantity of initial invention disclosures, selecting commercially attractive projects (and thereby reducing the sharp drop off after initial technology assessment), and increasing the downstream success of new companies. Additionally, the development of effective leadership is a key innovation factor at many stages of a technology’s development and commercialization.

ABIA and UARF will accomplish their goals of promoting economic development based on regional-specific economic or technological strengths with support and collaboration from the State of Ohio, Summit County, and the City of Akron, and Ohio-based biomedical companies.