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Austen BioInnovation Institute Gains Funding from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation to Accelerate Biomedical Innovation, Train Young Professionals

AKRON, Ohio, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) has been awarded $100,000 from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation to accelerate the development of promising patient-centered innovations while developing a next-generation workforce through hands-on experience in what it takes to advance a product to market. The award will allow ABIA professionals to expand their efforts to support a culture of biomedical innovation in Akron and across Ohio while encouraging collaboration among diverse health, science, engineering and entrepreneurial professionals.

The Morgan Foundation's grants increased what ABIA originally sought, with an additional $50,000 for ABIA's Technology Development Fund to develop and commercialize new biomedical technologies and $50,000 for graduate student internships to assist and help create biomedical companies.

"It is at the core of our mission to support ABIA in its efforts to develop a highly skilled and innovative workforce, while simultaneously fostering the growing biomedical sector in Northeast Ohio and across the state," said Deborah Hoover, president of the Morgan Foundation. "ABIA's value to Northeast Ohio's brightening economic future cannot be overstated."

ABIA President and CEO Dr. Frank L. Douglas expressed gratitude for the Morgan Foundation's generosity and support for fueling the growing biomedical expertise in Ohio.

"This demonstration of support from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation not only helps with our focus on patient-centered product innovation and preparing the next-generation workforce, it further strengthens the region's ability to compete effectively in the global economy," Dr. Douglas said. "By providing advanced students with genuine front-line opportunities, we bolster our workforce and reinforce speed-to-market best practices that make the state more competitive."

Through the internship program, engineering, law and business graduate students help ABIA professionals evaluate new biomedical concepts. The program, which has already helped to train more than 20 interns, allows emerging professionals to gain important entrepreneurial skills including market potential assessment, prototyping, identifying and resolving design, manufacturing and regulatory issues and development of commercialization and marketing plans for eventual licensable technology or new startup companies.

The ABIA Technology Development Fund facilitates the further development of novel technologies that have been shown to have significant commercial and clinical potential. The fund also can be used for prototype development and regulatory planning and testing to develop a new innovation to a stage where a company can be created and eventually introduced to the market.

About The Burton D. Morgan Foundation
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is a private foundation established in 1967, whose mission is to strengthen the free enterprise system by investing in organizations and institutions that foster the entrepreneurial spirit. To advance the mission, the Foundation supports entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education programs and initiatives at the youth, collegiate, and adult levels. A legacy of founder and entrepreneur Burton D. Morgan (1916-2003), the Foundation leverages its grant and staff resources to connect the people, ideas, organizations, and opportunities that comprise the vibrant and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio. For more information, please 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, FirstEnergy, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Summa Health System, and The University of Akron – brings innovative minds together to create economic and personal vitality by inspiring patient-centered discovery and invention. The ABIA partnership accelerates the time from idea to commercialization of new technologies and solutions by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the biomedical product and polymer science industries. ABIA works to secure Ohio's economic future through its patient-centered product innovation, cutting edge workforce training and inclusionary approach to community health improvement. For more information about ABIA, please visit

Media Contacts:
Scott Rainone, Austen BioInnovation Institute, 330-572-7581,
Diane Rafferty, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, 330-655-2333,

SOURCE Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
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