Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron was launched as part of the “Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration,” a process that aims to increase innovation and minimize the time between the idea and commercialization of new technology. ISIX unites a team of experts in the biomedical devices and polymer science industries of Northeast Ohio and focuses on initiatives and programs that encourage entrepreneurship in Akron, transforming a culture of competition into one of collaboration.

ABIA was created through a strategic support network, including an alliance of hospitals, universities and a philanthropic foundation, which plan to farm the next generation of clinical innovations that will make ABIA, Akron and surrounding regions a hub for biomedical discovery.

Apto Orthopaedics was formed this past spring and is the first medical device company created out of the commercialization ecosystem in Akron. The company was designed to improve treatment of spinal deformities and is developing a device that can be adjusted from outside the body, replacing the need for multiple invasive surgeries that children usually require.

The launch of this company exemplifies ABIA’s ability to identify a clinical need and utilize unique patient-centered products to fill this gap. The commercialization of these products fuel economies in Akron and around the state of Ohio, which re-emphasizes ISIX’s original goal to stimulate entrepreneurship, company creation and job growth.

ABIA has developed several programs to encourage collaboration between industry members and uses these alliances to fuel entrepreneurship. Through the support of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, ABIA hopes to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in the biomedical and alternative energy fields. The program unites expert mentors with aspiring businesswomen and provides the curriculum and resources needed to start a business. ABIA also hosts monthly Synergy Seminars, which offer a collaborative space for people to discuss clinical problems, discover solutions and develop further patient-centered medical opportunities.

ISIX has witnessed invention submissions increase from 25 in 2010 to almost 150 in 2011. Those with potential are funded through ABIA’s Technology Development Fund, which invests in new technologies by funding prototype development, market analysis and intellectual property review. The developments ABIA is making in the biomedical and alternative energy industry are designed to place the institute at the forefront of clinical breakthroughs and transform Akron into a center for innovative biomedical entrepreneurship.

How to reach: Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, (330) 572-7544, @abiakron or