I-Corps@NCATS trains clinical and translational science teams to accelerate translation of research innovations into practice

Kathryn Nearing, Julie Rainwater, Stacey Neves, Pamela Bhatti, Bruce Conway, Nathaniel Hafer, Kevin Harter, Nicholas Kenyon, Margaret M. McManus, Demetria M. McNeal, Elaine H. Morrato, Suhrud M. Rajguru, Molly Wasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: A key barrier to translation of biomedical research discoveries is a lack of understanding among scientists regarding the complexity and process of implementation. To address this challenge, the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps™ (I-Corps™) program trains researchers in entrepreneurship. We report results from the implementation of an I-Corps™ training program aimed at biomedical scientists from institutions funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Methods: National/regional instructors delivered 5-week I-Corps@NCATS short courses to 62 teams (150 individuals) across six institutions. Content included customer discovery, value proposition, and validating needs. Teams interviewed real-life customers and presented the value of innovations for specific end-users weekly, culminating in a "Finale"featuring their refined business thesis and business model canvas. Methodology was developed to evaluate the newly adapted program. National mixed-methods evaluation assessed program implementation, reach, effectiveness using observations of training delivery and surveys at Finale (n = 55 teams), and 3-12 months post-training (n = 34 teams). Results: Innovations related to medical devices (33%), drugs/biologics (20%), software applications (16%), and diagnostics (8%). An average of 24 interviews was conducted. Teams reported increased readiness for commercialization over time (83%, 9 months; 14%, 3 months). Thirty-nine percent met with institutional technology transfer to pursue licensing/patents and 24% pursued venture capital/investor funding following the short courses. Conclusions: I-Corps@NCATS training provided the NCATS teams a rigorous and repeatable process to aid development of a business model based on customer needs. Outcomes of this pilot program support the expansion of I-Corps™ training to biomedical scientists for accelerating research translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere66
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • evaluation
  • innovation
  • Innovation Corps (I-Corps)
  • research commercialization
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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