Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has created a new operating division to translate its academic and clinical research and discoveries into marketable products and services that will benefit patients. The new enterprise, Wake Forest Innovations, is being led by Chief Innovation Officer Eric Tomlinson, DSc, and Ph.D., who is also President of the Piedmont Triad Research Park.
Wake Forest Innovations is investing in novel ways of stimulating conception and development of products and services that will generate new revenue streams by establishing and managing new business partnerships.
The new division provides the institution with several new services:
Product Innovation & Commercialization Services is responsible for supporting the creation of innovative technology and products and commercializing these through licensing to existing and startup companies. It also is focused on forming companies that can locate in the Piedmont Triad Research Park.
The group consists of an innovation team and a commercialization team. The innovation team ‘embeds’ scientist-entrepreneurs within faculty groupings to provide guidance on product ideas, intellectual property protection, regulatory practices, business case modeling, competitive position and path to market.
The commercialization team licenses technologies and products and incubates startup companies through their capital formation and early operations.
Product Innovation & Commercialization Services currently manages two investment funds: Spark Grants to enable the development of innovative ideas and a Value Inflection Fund for achieving preclinical proof-of-concept.
Scientific Business Services is a newly-formed business support group that helps to structure, promote and contract our research assets to external partners. Scientific Business Services now manages Preclinical Surgical Services and the Center for Applied Learning.
Among the research assets being currently promoted are several models of disease, preclinical surgical techniques, bioinformatics, medical device testing, nanomedicine, and genetic tests. Wake Forest Baptist anticipates that effecting commercially competitive contracts that lead to success for our clients should also encourage a broader engagement of companies and organizations with Wake Forest and promote the Piedmont Triad Research Park as a place to locate business.
Park Development Services is focused on the growth of the Piedmont Triad Research Park –home for 10 Wake Forest Baptist departments and 30 companies– as a vibrant, knowledge-based community. This group promotes and the research park as a place for excellence in science, technology and business innovation by supporting a socially engaging environment while incubating and attracting new companies.
Wake Forest Innovations includes a business development group responsible for branding, marketing and sales of the Medical Center’s scientific services, licensable technologies and products. It also has an operations group responsible for accounting, contract management, administration, database management and census.