Western Medical Innovation Fellowship - Mini MIF

The Mini-Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) is a program organized by WORLDiscoveries to introduce the biodesign process approach to medical innovation. It is open to Western’s medical health professional and engineering students, as well as practicing clinicians based in London, who are interested in medical innovation. The aim of this short program is to train entrepreneurial participants to use a design thinking based approach to address clinical problems. The program will also provide participants with an opportunity to:

  • Join a network of clinicians, scientists, engineers and others interested in commercialization of medical innovation
  • Learn about key innovation and business concepts
  • Build entrepreneurial skills through interactions with senior business professionals and MIF alumni
  • Work together in a multidisciplinary team to address a clinical problem 
  • Potentially continue working with their team on the identified clinical problem after completion of the Mini-MIF program  
  • Get an idea of what working as a fellow in the full MIF program would be like 

The Mini-MIF program will run from January to April, 2022. It requires a 2 hrs/week commitment to attend virtual webinars and workshops, as well as 3 hrs/week commitment to work with other team members on the identified clinical problem. The program is tailored to provide hands-on learning in medical health innovation; through feedback from community innovators and by providing guidance on how to anticipate potential hurdles early on in the innovation process and how to perform market assessment. The knowledge and skills developed in the program will help to maximize the chances of entrepreneurial success in the medical health space. Understanding the importance of a well-crafted medical needs statement and interdisciplinary collaboration between medicine, engineering and business is at the core of the program.

Applications are now open and will close at midnight December 5th, 2021.


Week 1-4: Introduction to Medical Innovation and how to determine a need statement
1. Why is a well-characterized need statement the key to successful innovation?
2. How do you efficiently assess existing solutions and important stakeholders?
3.How do you perform a market analysis for a particular need?
4. Work time & feedback on the team’s Need Statements (MIF mentors workshop)
Week 5-8: Solution to your Need Statement
5. How do you design innovative solutions?
6. What is the importance of Intellectual Property for the innovator? Everything you need to know about regulatory bodies.
7. How does an innovator objectively select the concept that best addresses the need?
8. Work time & feedback on the team’s possible solutions (MIF mentors workshop)
Week 9-12: Business Development and Commercializing your IP
9. Developing a business model that is appropriate to bring your concept into practice
10. IP basics and patent filing
11. How do you validate the effectiveness of your solution?
12. Work time & feedback on the team’s possible solutions (MIF mentors workshop)
Week 13-16: Commercializing your solution, starting a company and pitching
13. How do you set up a company and commercialize a solution?
14. How do you successfully pitch your idea to raise money?
15. Case-stories: challenges to founding a company
16. Final project presentations by students with feedback from an external panel (MIF mentors workshop)

Mini-MIF Testimonials

“The Mini MIF program was an amazing opportunity for medical students like myself to learn from medtech/digital health innovation experts, collaborate with students from other programs, and develop valuable skills that can be used throughout our careers. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning more about medical innovation!” (Andrea Kassay, Mini-MIF alumna 2021)

“The Mini-MIF program gave me access to highly qualified and experienced mentors who helped me develop not only skills in innovation, but confidence in my own ideas, values and perspectives. Though the program has a medical focus, its curriculum is applicable to daily life. The way we were taught to think and approach problems in the Mini-MIF informs how I problem-solve currently, and gave me a definite advantage in securing my job after graduation. I am now an Occupational Therapist and Clinical Coordinator in a new clinic in Ottawa where my entrepreneurial skillset gained in Mini-MIF has me involved in all aspects of getting a new clinic off the ground.” (Kelly Emblem, Mini-MIF alumna, 2021)

“The Mini-MIF program has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. The way I perceive issues that I come across in day-to-day life now go through my newly developed ‘innovation’ lenses thanks to this program. Now more than ever, I feel ready to be a leader in medical innovation.” (Grant Dickey, Mini-MIF alumnus, 2022)

“As a nurse leader, I am committed to amplifying nursing voices. I believe that nurses have valuable insights and perspectives that must be considered when creating medical devices used in practice. The Mini-MIF experience allowed me to bring my unique nursing perspective and patient focus to our interdisciplinary team to contribute to creating an innovation that promotes both patient safety and enhances the user experience. Mini-MIF has offered me a valuable learning experience that I otherwise would not have had that allowed me to grow as a professional and individual.” (Jessica Burford, Mini-MIF alumna, 2022)