Once the Cleveland Clinic Innovations team “green lights” an idea for a medical innovation, the next step is deciding if the idea is a stand-alone product or if it could be grown to something bigger—a whole new way of doing things.
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“A single idea can evolve into a platform technology,” says Mary Kander senior commercialization officer at Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Taking an idea to the next level means involving lots of players with various specialties. “It takes a comprehensive team of physicians, researchers and engineers working together to develop a full range of technology,” she says.
Ultimately, the goal is for the idea to improve clinical practices and patient care—to do the most good for the most people. Bringing the innovation to market is necessary to make this happen. “So, innovations that are novel, patentable, feasible, of clinical benefit, and marketable are presented to potential licensees or investors,” Kander explains.
Cleveland Clinic Innovations
From there, a few things can happen. A company may say, “Let’s do a license for it,” support the innovation and want to move forward right away with further development and testing. Or, a company could show interest in the idea, but wish to help fund further development before licensing. Third, a potential licensor may ask Cleveland Clinic to seek funding to conduct additional testing and then revisit the idea.
Meanwhile, if the innovation could be expanded into a whole range of products, an investor may show interest in funding a start-up company centered around the innovation.
The least desirable response, of course, is a “no” from a potential investor or licensee. In that case, it’s back the drawing board.
Cleveland Clinic introduces several innovations to the market each year. The Atriclip™ Gillinov-Cosgrove LAA Exclusion System, co-developed by Cleveland Clinic researchers, is an example of a licensed technology. Cleveland HeartLab, a growing company with more than 100 employees, was founded on diagnostic technologies developed by Cleveland Clinic. Big ideas like this that are incubated at Cleveland Clinic can evolve into job opportunities and contribute to the economic engine of the region.
Evolving this technology is an exciting and complex process, and every day the idea machine inside Cleveland Clinic continues to churn out new concepts and test experimental technologies. “Cleveland Clinic is committed to innovation and bringing new ideas to market that ultimately benefit patients,” Kander says.
Learn how ideas are selected for development here