The CORE by Kylie Redkey: Keystone Project aims to help cultivate 'medtech' economy

Kylie Redkey, associate at 32S Consulting and senior staff member of The CoreApril 30, 2013 

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Kylie Redkey

The Core is beginning to gain momentum with its Keystone Project, an initiative focused on the commercialization of advanced health-related research, products and services for startups and established companies in Idaho to form a health care economy in the state.

The Keystone Project will establish a base of operations, convert research in Idaho's colleges and universities into products and services based in Idaho, increase jobs and broaden the economic base in the short term and long term. It will connect university research to private enterprise and more quickly commercialize research into usable products and services that can get to the marketplace.

The Core developed this initiative last year during its strategic planning session.

The Core created a blueprint from the strategic planning process that is now being used to assemble the pieces necessary to build a robust medical technology economy in Idaho. The pieces include:

1. Outstanding physical and intellectual infrastructure. The Keystone Project will focus and align existing health care and health-related research into a group of networked facilities and partners. This network will include hospitals, colleges and universities, laboratories and industry partners interested in promoting a core competency in Idaho. It will create an environment for conducting research, clinical testing, collaboration and commercialization.

2. Identifying focused areas for research and private industry. The initial phase of the Keystone Project is designed to create a center of excellence for Idaho without duplicating efforts elsewhere in the country. We are working with community members to better identify Idaho's medtech capabilities, and areas to develop into centers of excellence in the state.

3. Engaging support and promoting partnerships. The collaborative economy envisioned by Keystone requires that broad-based public and private interests work with health-related entities from outside Idaho to partner researchers with private industry, and to identify funding sources and investment to get products and services to market.

4. Connecting research with development. The Keystone Project hopes to develop a model in which researchers from around Idaho work collaboratively with the nonacademic community - developers, foundations, hospital systems and entrepreneurs - to create a medtech environment.

The Keystone Project will convert advanced medical- related research in Idaho into products and services based in Idaho by connecting research with assets that exist in the state. These assets may include facilities, information on accessing capital, education on Federal Drug Administration processes, identifying collaboration opportunities, or developing relationships with entrepreneurs or businesses for licensing - ultimately increasing jobs and broadening the short- and long-term economic base.

We have an opportunity to transform Idaho into a center of excellence in health care and to reap enormous economic benefits. It is a heavy lift, but one worth undertaking. Please join us to help move the health care economy and Idaho forward.

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kylieredkey@thecoreidaho.com, 908-8029

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