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St. Vincent, Austen BioInnovation Institute Announce Strategic Partnership to Develop New Products

CLEVELAND, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, a member of the Sisters of Charity Health System, jointly announced today a Strategic Innovation Partnership intended to create an innovation-oriented pathway for surgeons to explore and commercialize new ideas and solutions. Working closely with a select group of surgeons at the hospital, the ABIA partnership will provide St. Vincent with engineering and technology development resources necessary to develop medical devices and solutions that have clinical and commercial potential.

The ABIA-St. Vincent partnership will focus initially on the area of orthopedics. To facilitate the first phase of this technology development initiative, ABIA's biomedical engineers will spend time on-site at St. Vincent in partnered-innovation sessions. The sessions involve working directly with surgeons in the operating room to identify unmet clinical needs and problems that might lead to products and solutions. The collaborative process then allows for ABIA to further the commercialization path through market and intellectual property analysis, regulatory strategy, engineering design, prototype development and testing of new advances.

"As a biomedical engineer, now surgeon, I am aware of the innovation that takes place daily in the operating room," said Dr. David F. Perse , President and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. "We have been in a multiyear process to find a collaborator to further explore and test these concepts. ABIA was immediately engaged as an energetic partner. It is our desire through this partnership to engage independent, entrepreneurially minded surgeons to test and develop their innovations for the benefit of patients and the community at large."

"Our relationship with St. Vincent reinforces the ABIA partnership's commitment to work with innovators everywhere to explore novel and pioneering ways to provide better care for patients," said Dr. Frank L. Douglas , ABIA President and CEO. "Through this cooperative program, we are able to help St. Vincent and other organizations maintain a strong, engaged relationship with skilled physicians and employees by providing them with a pathway to explore advancement that may lead to an improved level of treatment and economic growth."

The history of modern medicine shows that innovation is often generated outside of university or governmental constructs, according to Perse. "With the evolving bureaucratic nature of medicine and the difficulty for innovative, independent physicians to test their concepts due to the challenges of time and resources, the ability to engage with a proven bioengineering entity like ABIA creates enormous opportunities," he said. 

Participation in the ABIA Strategic Innovation Partnership is open to industry, health and educational systems and is meant to enhance the pace of invention across a wide range of organizations. Through the ABIA partnership, member organizations gain access to the tools and expertise needed to increase patient-centered innovation, product development and commercialization efforts in the high-growth life sciences sector.

About St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland's faith-based, high-quality healthcare provider. Our distinguished doctors and caregivers are devoted to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute and the Center for Bariatric Surgery. Owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center delivers health care for the heart of Cleveland. The Sisters of Charity Health System is a family of hospitals, grant-making foundations, elder care and outreach organizations devoted to healing individual, families and communities. For more information, visit

About Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) – an exceptional collaboration of Akron Children's Hospital, Akron General Health System, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Summa Health System, The University of Akron and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – is focused on patient-centered innovation and commercialization. The strategic alignment of public and private support, accompanied with Akron's rich legacy in materials science, is working to pioneer the next generation of life-enhancing and life-saving innovation that is transforming Akron into a model for biomedical discovery and enterprise and move the region toward a secure economic future by accelerating the creation of more than 2,000 jobs during the next decade. For more information about ABIA, please visit

Media Contacts

Wendy Hoke
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Scott Rainone
Austen BioInnovation Institute

SOURCE Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
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