U-M’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation receives EDA grant
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced that 42 organizations from 28 states — including U-M’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation — will receive more than $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds. The awards come through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.
FFMI has received a $500,000 grant to develop a scalable regional education and training program that encourages and enriches the hub’s biomedical innovation ecosystem across the State of Michigan and the greater Midwest region.
“In the first three years of our FFMI program, we have supported more than 79 life science technology projects that have resulted in seven new companies and more than $13 million in follow-on funding,” said Kevin Ward, M.D., executive director of FFMI. “This new RIS award will allow FFMI to build and expand upon that base.
“The EDA investment funds will enhance our ability to scale and offer this strategic programing in biomedical innovation across the state and region and strengthen our partnerships with entities like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build a stronger ecosystem and culture that increases job growth and global competitiveness of Michigan and beyond.”
This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. Selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants, FFMI was the only awardee from the State of Michigan.
“FFMI provides a front door for accessing and navigating the rich biomedical innovation ecosystem at U-M for our faculty, trainees and students, as well as industry partners, allowing them to transform their ideas much more rapidly to viable commercial products that will impact patient care,” said Connie Chang, managing director of FFMI. “Our strategic de-risking programs range from project funding and mentorship to business development and ideation/commercialization education services. Over the past year, we have started to expand our program statewide as the MEDC supported Life Science Innovation Hub for the state, as well as with national partners through our collaboration with the Michigan Clinical and Health Research Institute, our CTSI organization. ”
For more information about FFMI, click here.