The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday that it has received a $1.08 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that will be used to fund construction of a new Medical Devices Center.
The Medical Devices Centeriscurrently housed in 5,000 square feet of space in the Shepherd Labs building on the University’s East Bank. The newer facility will be 8,000 square feet and will come from converting the unfinished Mayo Parking Garage on the Minneapolis campus. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
The total cost of the project is $2.2. million, with the remaining amount coming from the University’s College of Science and Engineering. The University estimates that the project could yield at least 80 jobs.
“The medical devices sector is a vital industry in Minnesota, employing more than 29,000 people, the highest number per capita in the U.S.” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips, in a news release. “The Medical Devices Center is critical to the state’s infrastructure, serving as an integral partner to industry and an incubator for innovative new devices.”
One driver of innovation at the Medical Devices Center is the Innovation Fellows program. The program attracts applications from candidates globally and is anintensive, one-year training program that brings midcareer professionals from backgrounds as diverse as engineering, biosciences and medicine to create new innovations in healthcare. It launched in 2008 and got a major boost last year that helped the Medical Devices Center to expand the program.
Since its inception,the center’s research fellows have filed 109 invention disclosures to the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), including 52 that were filed in 2012 alone, according to the news release. Based on them, the university has filed 37 patent applications with four more being prepared.