Innovation fellowship programs have been developed to immerse highly talented young scientists, engineers and clinicians in training and research environments that build innovation leaders and create novel medical technologies.
Fellows begin in the classroom, learning topics relevant to business and technology commercialization, prior to being immersed in clinics, where they identify market needs. They then develop and prototype solutions by working with researchers, clinicians and technology transfer offices to generate new intellectual property. Alumni of these programs have become leaders in industry, research and health care, and many have formed new companies.
The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship – the first-of-its-kind in Canada – was established in partnership with the University of Minnesota Innovation Fellows program in 2015. Highly qualified individuals are recruited from PhD graduates, medical students and residents.
Through its mandate to diversify Canada’s economy and foster an entrepreneurial spirit in a generation of trainees, Western’s BrainsCAN initiative has committed more than $3.5 million to this program. Other Western MIF partners include MITACS and the Western Bone and Joint Institute’s Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research. Fellows are paid similar to postdoctoral fellows for the 10.5-month program.
- MIF alumni have founded 2 health technology companies from their fellowship projects
- Front Line Medical Technologies Inc.
- MIF alumni have launched 2 additional health technology companies beyond the fellowship
- Innovative Surgical Instruments
- Idealfit Spacer Solutions Inc.
- 5 applications have been filed
- $207k funding has been raised
- 9 total
The program is completed over the course of 10.5 months. Training and experience fellows receive will serve to de-risk the commercialization/start-up path by equipping them with relevant knowledge, connections to mentors, industry partners and investors, and their having already identified and tested markets for their innovations.
Our fellows come from a variety of backgrounds from biomedical engineering to chemistry to applied medicine. All fellows offer up their unique skillsets and contribute to the program.
We recruit high achievers who have exhibited passion and perseverance in the development of their skills and experiences.