Office of Translation and Innovation

The Office of Translation and Innovation (OTI) at the School of Medicine works to foster commercialization, build relationships with pharmaceutical and biomedical device corporations, and develop strong partnerships in research at all levels. OTI serves to assess and advise investigators with translational projects, to educate faculty, fellows and students in development of research ideas and ventures, and to move promising candidate technologies quickly from discovery to development.


Innovation Vision: Engine of Progress

The mission of the OTI office is to nurture the changing culture of biomedical research, providing tools and resources to help academic researchers navigate the world of entrepreneurship. There are three branches of innovation that our office supports to provide the highest level of success for our translational projects here at CWRU:


Technology: We support strong pre-clinical development programs in a wide range of technologies. This is the bedrock of our pipeline of innovations.

Capital: Our office helps source and fund translational research using CWRU endowment and state grants as the foundation to attract partner investors.

People: We are actively building entrepreneurship and translational research support programs such as venture mentoring and i-Corps.



Technology Support Services

The heart of the OTI office is the technology being developed here at CWRU SOM, and developing a solid team and support around that technology to move it off the bench and into the commercial space by means of licensing or startups. To help researchers navigate the world of translational research, the OTI provides consultants who are experts at business development. If you have a project that is translational and you need assistance with how to move it out of your lab, please contact us at the OTI.



Funding Programs

A core service of the OTI office is to assist in helping translational researchers find capital needed to progress their research. OTI administration is here to help you find the funding that is appropriate for your circumstance and help you prepare for the funding application. There are several funding opportunities that we work with on a regular basis:


CAHH: The Council to Advance Human Health developed as a catalyst for a focused model of translation. Support through the philanthropic Accelerator Fund provides small targeted grants for investigators to develop promising projects towards an exit. Eligible investigators are invited to present their projects to obtain funding up to $75,000.

Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative: The Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University and its affiliated hospital systems to catalyze high quality clinical and translational research both locally and nationally by changing the culture of biomedical research, sharing resources and expertise and making the research process more streamline, helping to move research from the bench to bedside and out to the community. Through the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the CTSC provides the Pilot Grant Program which is a peer-review pilot funding program designed to stimulate and promote new translational research, new research collaborations and novel research ideas. Up to 6 multidisciplinary projects are funded up to $50,000 annually. For more information, visit the Annual Pilot Award Program website.

Taipai Medical University: A Taipei Medical University partnership with CWRU Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) was created to support long-term collaboration and innovation between the institutions. Inter-institutional translational projects are supported with the end goal being a clinical trial or exit. Translational collaborations are formed between a Taipai investigator in the field of Oncology and/or Neurosciences and a CWRU investigator. Funding is awarded with amounts of up to $50,000.

Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership: The Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CCTRP) is a nationally funded translational program fostering the collaboration between biomedical engineers and clinical partners. The program invests more than a million dollars in direct funding and support services to help research teams advance products from the laboratory to clinical or commercial outcomes. Funding can range from $50,000-$200,000, determined each funding round. Please visit the CCTRP website for more information and contacts.

Ohio Third Frontier: Ohio Third Frontier (OTF) supports translational research across the state of Ohio with a focus on economic development. OTF and their partners provided access to business expertise, mentorship, capital and talent to build and scale startups ranging from biomedical devices to software IT and advance materials. For more information on the Ohio Third Frontier, please visit their website. Funding through the OTF is open to anyone with award amounts up to $50,000 for a Phase I funding round. To learn more about the funding they provide and the eligibility, please read more about their Technology Validation and Start-up Fund.



Training and Education Opportunities

Knowing that the development of any technology will only go as far as the people are capable of getting it, the OTI puts a great deal of effort into the supporting the development of the people behind the research and ventures created here at CWRU. Over the years, several programs have been developed to meet the needs that we have faced in a changing culture of biomedical sciences.



i-Corps and C3i: The I-Corps (through the National Science Foundation) and C3i are funding programs that provide innovation programs/boot camps to prepare teams for marketing and commercialization. Please visit I-Corps and C3i for more information.

CWRU Venture Mentoring Program: CWRU Venture Mentoring Program (CVMP) supports CWRU (and affiliate) researchers with unbiased, confidential business advice in a safe and conflict-free environment. Team mentoring to provide researchers with support and guidance on their translational project. Please visit CVMP (link) to learn more.

Enhancing Research & Industry Career Horizons: Enhancing Research & Industry Career Horizons (EnRICH) provides flexible career guidance and support with employers and mentors in a broad range of disciplines including biotech, teaching, administration, writing and communication. Please visit EnRICH to learn more.

Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club: Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club (BIEC) hosts a monthly casual happy hour event to learn and network.

Expanding Teaching Experiences for Doctoral Students: Expanding Teaching Experiences for Doctoral Students (ExTEnD) provides the opportunity for doctoral students and postdocs to get formal training and experience in teaching at a College or University level. Please visit the ExTEnD to learn more.

Health Innovation & Entrepreneurship pathway: The Pathways Program in the SOM was designed for MD students to provide individualized enrichment experiences for students who would like to learn more beyond the core medical school curriculum. The Health Innovation & Entrepreneurship pathway is focused on mentoring students through the process of assessing and possibly developing new solutions to important healthcare problems that they will face in clinical settings. Please visit the Pathway Programs website for more information.

Masters of Science in Regenerative Medicine and Entrepreneurship (RGME): RGME is a formal interdisciplinary master’s program at the SOM to help individuals obtain advance training and skills in the field of regenerative medicine. Please visit the Masters of Science in Regenerative Medicine and Entrepreneurship website for more information.