Innovation fellowship programs have been developed in the United States to immerse highly talented young scientists, engineers and clinicians in training and research environments that build innovation leaders and create novel medical technologies. Fellows begin in the classroom, learning topics relevant to business and technology commercialization, prior to being immersed in clinics, where they identify market needs. They then develop and prototype solutions by working with researchers, clinicians and technology transfer offices to generate new intellectual property. Alumni of these programs have become leaders in industry, research and health care, and many have formed new companies.
The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship - the first-of-its-kind in Canada - was established in partnership with the University of Minnesota Innovation Fellows program in 2015. Highly qualified individuals are recruited from recent Western PhD graduates, medical students and residents, and Canadian applicants to the Minnesota program. Mitacs is a partner of the Fellowship program through its support of postdoctoral training and research collaborations. Other partners include the Western Bone and Joint Institute’s Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research. Fellows are paid similar to postdoctoral fellows for the 10.5-month program, which consists of:
Training and experience fellows receive will serve to de-risk the commercialization/start-up path by equipping them with relevant knowledge, connections to mentors, industry partners and investors, and their having already identified and tested markets for their innovations.
Full details are available at: http://www.uwo.ca/research/funding/students/MIF.html
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