CTSI Innovation - Overview
The CTSI Innovation as a Discipline’s mission is to support and academically reward innovation by ensuring continuity between problem-focused scientific discovery and clinical translation.
The University of Pittsburgh, like many universities, has created institutional programs to support and facilitate translational research among its academic innovators. However, a number of our scientists who pursue commercial translation do so without having a mastery of the discipline of clinical commercial translation. Furthermore, researchers frequently jeopardize their academic careers when embarking on this translational path because our current promotions and tenure policies do not formally reward commercialization activities. At CTSI, we embrace commercial translation to advance biomedical discoveries into the marketplace while maintaining the critical pipeline of basic research. Through our Innovation as a Discipline program, we are developing an innovation program to train investigators in design thinking, to ensure continuity between scientific discovery and clinical translation through commercialization, and to support and academically reward entrepreneurship.
The University of Pittsburgh will “Extend the impact of our research through application to practice, policy development, and commercial translation”.
[The Plan for Pitt. Making a Difference Together. Academic Years 2016-2020. http://www.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/Strategic-Plan-Presentation.pdf. Accessed September 12, 2015.]
- Chancellor Patrick D. Gallagher, 2014
As part of our initiative to develop and disseminate new processes, our funding programs use non-traditional application and review mechanisms. Our methods are designed to encourage collaboration and creativity to produce novel problem-based research. We have launched novel initiatives to create a life sciences innovation ecosystem in which scientists, clinicians, patients, advocacy groups, and community organizations work together to create novel solutions to clinically important problems:
The Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh) is a problem-focused approach to biomedical research that we developed in consultation with executives from XPrize. PInCh 1) uses a contest mechanism to incentivize multidisciplinary teams to solve clinically relevant problems, 2) selects high-value proposals through a novel proposal solicitation, submission, and review mechanism, and 3) supports projects with funding, project management, resources, and networking to investors and industry. Through a multi-step review process, finalists are invited to pitch their ideas at a public forum. Judges select winning teams that receive CTSI funding and business support. PInCh has successfully stimulated new collaborations, catalyzed new directions of research, and engaged community, foundation, and industry partners with Pitt innovators.
The Pain Research Challenge is a funding competition focused on research solutions addressing the dynamics, causes, and treatment of pain. Supported by the Virginia Kaufman Endowment, the Pain Research Challenge encourages interdisplinary approaches to addressing pain and taps into the depth of expertise within the Pittsburgh pain community.
ProtoHype™ is a competition designed to facilitate the creation of medical devices and biomedical research tools to advance healthcare and research. ProtoHype™ leverages engineering and design expertise to assist clinicians in the development of medical and research prototypes.
The Accelerated Innovations Program (AIP) is an open innovation model that solicits clinically relevant, market worthy early stage concepts for technology development. The purpose of the AIP is to quickly and comprehensively evaluate projects for commercial translation funding and commercial translation support in order to accelerate innovations to commercialization that would otherwise be unnecessarily delayed by funding cycles. Projects are evaluated by biomedical entrepreneurs in the context of market needs. Selected projects are pivoted to address market needs and supported by funding, expertise, and project and business management.
Visit the CTSI calendar for upcoming dates.