Blue Highway team members Greg Gdowski, Jeff Fuchsberg, and Laila Kobrossy Audi just returned from the first annual RADIANT CREATE Summer Institute in Neurotechnology Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (NICE). The Rehabilitative and Diagnostic Innovation in Applied Neurotechnology (RADIANT) program was held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. The program brought together 18 Ph.D. and masters students from several Canadian and U.S. Universities with backgrounds ranging from science and engineering to business, economics and experimental psychology.
The RADIANT initiative was developed to expose students in neurotechnology-related fields to the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. Program Director Aaron J. Newman, Ph. D., has seen many promising projects fail due to challenges on the road from the academic lab to the marketplace. He believes that “significantly greater progress could be made if scientists were trained in the practices of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
RADIANT’s philosophy is well-aligned to our mission here at Blue Highway. We seek to remove the barriers to innovation to create a wide-open space where people are free to pursue their ideas. Leveraging an extensive global network of world renown scientific, engineering and clinical talent in combination with diverse industry thought leaders, we facilitate the effective translation of research into commercial products in a fraction of the time and cost of in-house R&D efforts.
On Wednesday, Gdowski, Fuchsberg and Kobrossy Audi led a presentation titled, “From Invention to Innovation.” The topics covered include:
- The Commercialization process: from prototype development and feasibility studies to business models and funding opportunities
- The vetting process
- Types of innovation
- Barriers to innovation
- Technology assessment: intellectual property (IP), business and technical considerations
- Idea evaluation: How significant is your innovation? How big is your market and who are your competitors?
- Patent requirements
- The tools for IP evaluation
“We had a great time interacting with the students,” said Kobrossy Audi. “Personally, I feel this is such an exceptional experience for them- to be able to combine their STEM background with a new understanding of how to apply their knowledge to real world challenges through commercializing their ideas, and to make a difference in people’s lives through innovative technologies that they have the ability to develop.”
During the course of the two week program, the students are required to identify a problem or need in a specific neuroscience focus area, and to come up with an innovative solution. They will pitch their business plan and ideas, based on what they have learned these two weeks, on Friday to a board of faculty members.