The University of Michigan and the University of Virginia have announced partnerships with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation to foster research collaborations between bioengineers and clinicians, with the goal of developing new technologies to improve patient care.
In 2005, the foundation selected nine universities — including UVA and U-M — to participate in an effort to accelerate the process of translating biomedical research into practical applications. UVA and U-M will each receive a $10 million grant from the foundation, which they must match.
More than thirty UVA projects in areas such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, wound repair, orthopedic surgery, medical imaging, and diabetes have been funded since the program's inception. Those projects, in turn, have produced five startup companies, eleven licensing agreements, more than $12 million in private investments, and more than $20 million in government or foundation grants. At the University of Michigan, twenty-two projects have been funded through the partnership, producing four startup companies that have raised more than $22 million in private investments and an additional $7 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and others.
"This program started out as a grand experiment to link the relatively new discipline of biomedical engineering to translational research," said Coulter Foundation president Sue Van. "We are extremely proud of the advancements achieved by the [universities] in moving projects through the Coulter Process so that these advances will benefit patients."