Atlanta is a burgeoning center of medtech and life science innovation. Georgia Tech faculty, researchers and students are measurable contributors to that ecosystem.
Medtech innovation and the commercialization that creates real impact in provision of care, improved outcomes and value is replete with requirements and pitfalls that can doom ideas and technologies with high potential. It also requires funding that escalates the farther forward a technology moves in its design, development, regulatory, testing and overall commercialization pathway.
GCMI, a Georgia Tech affiliate, follows a phase gated process that de-risks new medical technologies in a capital efficient way. We are the proving ground for new medical technologies and our pathway experience accelerates the speed at which medical innovations achieve key milestones and regulatory approval.
The very beginning of that pathway we call Phase Zero. In this stage of our process we ask and answer the following questions to better understand a technology’s potential and development pathway.
- Is there a market for the product? Will someone pay for it?
- How will your device or technology improve outcomes compared to the current standard of care?
- What is the product’s FDA approval pathway?
- Can you protect your technology with Intellectual Property (IP)? Who are your competitors?
- What are the critical design elements, specifications, and user needs that make your device work?
Now, if you are a researcher, engineer, principal investigator or faculty member with what you believe is an idea for a new medical technology that’s ready for its own investigation of its potential, where will the funds for these critical, early stage commercialization activities come from?
- GCMI’s own funding made possible through the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research
“Through the leadership of Georgia Tech Executive Vice President for Research, Chaouki Abdallah, PhD, and Julia Kubanek, Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research, GCMI has dedicated annual funding for medtech innovation at Georgia Tech. The funding underscores the institute’s commitment to successful commercialization of promising medical technologies brought forth by Georgia Tech researchers, investigators, faculty and students.
“Funding, which varies in specific levels from fiscal year to fiscal year, specifically supports projects we believe have high potential for successful commercialization, follow-on funding and improved patient outcomes. Funded projects are selected by GCMI leadership.
“Unlike other well-known funding sources, these funds specifically support commercialization activities, not for staff / salary or lab support.”
Learn more in this Q&A with our Director of Scientific Affairs.
“GRA is the first place to go for those trying to commercialize a technology out of an academic setting,” GCMI Director of Scientific Affairs Evan Goldberg said. “Awards of $50,000 are available for projects or technologies in the very earliest stages GRA describes as ‘Phase 1.’ A significant percentage of applicants for those funds successfully access them.”
GRA also matches other funding sources and mechanisms for technologies earning “external validation” up to $100,000. If a project earns $100,000 from an entity like Biolocity, GRA will match that. If a project earns $250,000 from an SBIR grant, GRA will contribute $100,000 as well.
Born with substantial support provided by the Coulter Foundation, “Biolocity provides a combination of funding, project management, and consulting resources to early-stage technologies that address an unmet clinical need and have compelling commercial potential. This includes innovations within any clinical discipline with the ability to impact patient health.
“Each funding cycle, over $1.5 million in funding and commercialization support is available for distribution. Technology development support is provided through project management, strategy and business planning, marketing, regulatory, and reimbursement consulting. There is no funding limit per project, however budgets are based on commercialization milestones identified as the most critical next step for development during the application process.”
- Imlay Innovation Fund – Fully Committed to Pediatric Technologies
“The Imlay Innovation Fund is intended solely to support collaborative activities and pediatric innovation and discovery efforts between Georgia Tech and Children’s, focusing on practical steps that will lead to clinical impact as well as potential commercial opportunities.
“Quick Wins supports projects that can be accomplished in 12-18 months and can be quickly translated into practice. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that a Quick Wins award could help to position an investigator for a successful Innovation Investment application (described below) within the 2 years following the QW award. Quick Wins awards will be funded up to $125K.
“Innovation Investment is intended to help bridge the funding gap that often blocks the next phase of implementation or commercialization after initial proof of concept.
“Innovation Investment projects will typically be funded for a one-year period. Applications for multi-year awards will be accepted only with prior approval, and can receive a total of no more than $250K. An important part of the proposal is a potential for commercialization and/or implementation, as well as potential to positively impact child health.”
- Georgia Tech Office of Technology Licensing – “Tech Ready” Grants
From our colleague Mary Albertson, Director, Office of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech, “The Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) continues to explore how to provide the Georgia Tech community with tools, resources, and support to achieve transformational impact. OTL understands that commercialization is a long process with great potential involving many moving parts. You are not on this journey alone in bringing your inventions closer to market.
“We are pleased to announce the Tech Ready Grants initiative to fund furthering your technology’s readiness level and increasing the ability to commercialize your research. TechReady Grants are specifically designed for faculty at Georgia Tech looking to transition their projects from the lab to market success. Awardees will receive $25,000 to assist with this process.
Eligibility – “We invite all faculty inventors looking for resources for transitioning their work from lab to market success to apply.
“As a part of the application process, you will need to have an invention disclosure on file or submit an invention disclosure before the application deadline.”
Application Period – Application submission will open October 2023
Get In Touch
If you are an engineer, researcher or faculty member with what you believe could be a promising technology to address an unmet clinical care need it’s never too early to get in touch. We can help unlock funding opportunities that give your very early stage idea or technology its best chance to reach its full potential.
Contact us via the form below. It’s never too early to start the conversation.