Rutgers University was selected as one of five new hubs under the National Institutes of Health’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) program, to speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and tools to improve patient care, enhance health and train the next generation of innovators.
The new Rutgers Optimizes Innovation (ROI) Program, supported by $4 million over four years, will integrate the university’s strengths in the biomedical/bioengineering sciences and the expertise of its Research Commercialization team within the Office of Research and Economic Development to uncover, develop and guide innovators through the commercialization process with financial, regulatory and IP protection; mentoring management and educational resources.
“This award creates a platform to springboard discoveries made at Rutgers to initiate new products to improve health and cure disease. This is in alignment with Gov. Phil Murphy’s mission to be a state that promotes innovation,” said Dr. Reynold Panettieri, vice chancellor for translational medicine and science and director of Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science (RITMS), in a statement. Panettieri is the contact principal investigator on the multi-PI grant.
The ROI Program brings together Rutgers-New Brunswick’s schools of engineering and arts and sciences, the university’s medical schools, nursing programs, dental program, public health, and research institutes and centers – including the Rutgers Cancer Institute and the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials – with industries, incubators, funders and policymakers.
The Rutgers REACH hub will identify innovative health-related technologies by using the expertise of the National Cancer Institute-funded Rutgers Cancer Institute, RITMS, and the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM).
This award creates a platform to springboard discoveries made at Rutgers to initiate new products to improve health and cure disease.
– Dr. Reynold Panettieri
These technologies will be evaluated for commercialization feasibility, especially as they relate to providing precision therapy to tackle an unmet need created by the heterogeneity of disease development and response to treatment. Addressing such needs can provide assets tailored to patients’ therapeutic responses that ultimately improve health.
The Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) is establishing a new program through this initiative, called HealthAdvance, to push forward health-related technologies developed by Rutgers researchers. The program is modeled after ORED’s TechAdvance early-stage-technology fund, which supports Rutgers researchers to move their innovative technologies toward commercialization while providing unique opportunities to present their ideas to mentors, partners and investors.
Leaders from ORED, Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences have committed a combined $760,000 in annual matching funds for the next four years to support the goals of the ROI program and enhance its sustainability efforts.