The Core by Earl Sullivan: Core event brings together med-tech, research leaders

EARL SULLIVAN, chairman of The Core and CEO of E2S ConsultingJuly 16, 2013 

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Earl Sullivan

The Core's recent event, "Accelerating the Commercialization of Research," convened Idaho's leaders in business, research and med tech on the subject of commercialization. This event is one step in The Core's Keystone Project, an initiative focused on networking assets to accelerate the commercialization of health research. The event focused on familiarizing attendees with the technology transfer process, innovative models and best practices from industry experts and our speaker.

The Core conducted a national search for a commercialization expert, ultimately choosing Mark Crowell, the associate vice president for research at the University of Virginia and executive director of UVa Innovation. Crowell is also involved in the Biotechnology Industry Organization, or BIO, the world's largest biotech trade organization. He is chairman of BIO's Technology Transfer Committee and a member of Southeast BIO's board of directors. Crowell brought his extensive experience in technology licensing, startup company formation, innovation-based economic development, and the overall bio-industry to The Core's event.

Health care, university, government and business leaders from around the state had the opportunity to meet with Crowell and discuss best practices and models for engaging with the commercialization of research, with specific emphasis on:

• Innovation-based economic development and the significance of an innovation intermediary.

• How state and city officials can interact with commercialization and foster development.

• The importance of making the technology transfer process fast, easy and repeatable.

• Creating a competitive advantage regionally through collaboration.

• Best practices from related entities, states and universities.

Crowell's speech focused on lessons learned and best practices in technology transfer as well as the long-term economic development for the region as a result of a robust commercialization system.

After the keynote, Crowell was joined on a panel by:

• Dr. Joe Williams, physician at Idaho Urologic Institute.

• Dr. Mark Rudin, vice president for research and economic development at Boise State University.

• Dr. Mark Roberts, medical director for Research at St. Luke's Health System.

• Dr. Gene Merrell, associate vice president for economic development and chief technology transfer officer at the University of Idaho.

• Dr. Howard Grimes, vice president for research and economic development at Idaho State University.

The Core designed this event with the goal of giving attendees a chance to develop a deeper understanding of the opportunity in commercializing research and how successful models can be applied to Idaho. The models included a key piece called an innovation intermediary, which acts as a catalyst for the health entities, individuals, universities, government and industry.

Crowell emphasized the importance of organizations like The Core. "Regions that prosper in the knowledge economy often have organizations like The Core, which function as catalysts for innovation and new business development; as convening bodies for both entrepreneurs and for leaders from business, government, finance and academia; and as advocates for public policy and leadership necessary to build a region's innovation capacity," he says. "Each of these elements of The Core's activities were clearly evident at the recent innovation event in Boise."

Idaho has significant opportunity in breaking down silos and collaborating among seemingly competitive entities to gain a competitive advantage for the state. The Core is committed to leading the way to this robust health care and research economy. We will be working on designing programs and events to incentivize collaboration, cooperation and partnering to create this health-research mechanism and catalyze Idaho's med-tech ecosystem.


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