Innovation and Industrial Collaboration Program

One of the key charges for RMB is building an Innovation Ecosystem in which technologies deriving from ERC research may move effectively toward commercialization. Traditionally, ERCs have relied on relationships with major industrial players in their respective marketplaces to help advance their technology.  In a regulatory and commercialization environment that may require the investment of more than10 years and over  100 million dollars for a new PMA device to reach the marketplace, guidance and assistance from major players in the medical device space will be essential.  But, given that the typical development path for medical devices proceeds trough a risk reduction process facilitated by smaller, entrepreneurial   companies focused on research and development, additional approaches are required if RMB is to develop a truly functional Innovation Ecosystem.

RMB has re-examined its approach toward building an innovation ecosystem, leading to enhancements to the Center’s industrial partnership program, as outlined below.  RMB is actively implementing approaches toward engagement of industry that are designed to more fully support advancement of new biomedical technologies, benefit from all potential commercial applications of developed technologies and build a community and support structure that will facilitate multidisciplinary interactions, foster creativity and establish the Center as a key partner in identifying and commercializing novel magnesium derived products.

Engage Large Commercial Bio-Medical Partners: 
RMB is actively seeking partnerships with regional and global commercial entities in medical device space.   These partnerships may take various forms, including but not limited to providing guidance to the ERC on market needs and commercialization opportunities, collaboration on developing and evaluating key enabling technologies, developing and testing prototype medical devices, and providing training opportunities and mentorship for students.   

Engage Innovator Companies:
RMB recognizes and embraces the critical roles that small, often venture backed companies play in advancing new medical technologies to the marketplace.  The Center invites opportunities to assist these innovative companies, as they may need, as they work to advance their proprietary technologies or establish collaborative relationships around ERC derived technologies.  Participation in SBIR /STTR and other grant based initiatives is of particular interest.

Explore Collaborative Opportunities based on Spin-off Technologies:
As they work to advance degradable metals for biomedical use, RMB scientists and engineers are positioned to generate unique insights in Mg alloy development, corrosion science, coatings technologies and materials and surface characterization that could have application in other industries.  To date, such opportunities have been identified in energy generation and storage, corrosion and wear protection, and industries where light weight, high strength materials are needed. 

Augment Industrial, Clinical and Scientific Advisory Boards:
The ERC is interested in expanding its talented pool of advisors to help further insure that the ERC’s research efforts are focused on those with translational potential.  Parties interested in the medical and non-medical applications of Mg and its alloys are encouraged to contact the ERC to explore the potential for collaboration.

Establish a Virtual Development Capability:
RMB is developing a virtual consortium of business that, through their combined efforts, would be able to support the activities needed to translate biodegradables metals based technologies to product.  It is anticipated that the alliances formed would support early innovator companies by creating a one-stop-shop for development expertise that they cannot afford to independently develop.  This would serve to  improve their chances for successful product development.   Expertise in metal alloy casting and processing, coatings, device design, biomechanical testing, in-vivo testing, imaging, toxicology, regulation, clinical development and reimbursement are sought.  ERC PI’s would provide basic research support to the consortium. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the ERC.

Support Economic Development and Workforce Development:
RMB is committed to providing basic science and engineering support to businesses in its areas of expertise.  This support could take the form of consulting, problem solving, instrument access, collaborative research and development or worker training.   A particular emphasis is placed on serving business located in the vicinity of ER core institutions.

Foster Education in Technology based Entrepreneurship:
Part of the core mission of an ERC is to provide students with a multi-disciplinary research experience that prepares them to be competitive in a global environment.  Engagement with industry is critical to achieving this mission.  Companies dedicated to improving the student experience and positively impacting training of their future workforce are encouraged to conduct the ERC.

For more information, please contact:

Peter R. Seoane, Ph.D.
Industrial Liaison Officer 
NSF ERC for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials
336 285-3231