Getting More from America’s Academic Medical Centers by Making Innovation and Entrepreneurship a Natural and Expected Academic Behavior
This blog is focused on the critical need for a more strategic approach to biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship in America’s Academic Medical Centers and Universities.
Innovation vs. Entrepreneurship in Academic Medicine: It’s Not Either Or, It’s And and And
December 6, 2017
In our quest to make innovation and entrepreneurship a natural and expected academic behavior to accelerate great ideas toward patient impact, my team and I have begun to talk about barriers that make it difficult for innovators in university-based Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) to engage. I have received feedback both internally and externally (including some outright flack) regarding combining the terms.
A good bit of of this has come from traditionalists inside the AMC. For example, many academic scientists feel they are innovating by virtue of making fundamental discoveries, but think of this activity as completely separate and distinct from entrepreneurship. Indeed, they do not feel compelled to think about the transition of this new knowledge into anything other than an outward-facing communication to the world of science (read: publication) or perhaps another grant. Others feel they are producing new knowledge that is innovative and inherently distributive (can be provided broadly to others in many forms to make a difference) but feel they are not entrepreneurs because they have not commercialized that knowledge as a product. In essence, within the university setting, “entrepreneurship” is often separated from “innovation” and many flat out disdain the association of the two.
KEVIN R. WARD, M.D.
Executive Director: Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Professor: Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan Medical School
Kevin Ward, M.D., is a simple country ER doctor, serial innovator, and sometime entrepreneur who is blessed with the privilege of leading two awesome (his words) innovation programs at the University of Michigan — Fast Forward Medical Innovation and the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care. His passion is in developing programs which encourage strategic, integrative, and disciplined collaborations across medicine, engineering, information sciences, and industry that promote true solutions.