October 31, 2008

Professor Dan Cavanagh in the classroom.

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LEWISBURG, Pa. – A $71,000 matching grant will be shared by Bucknell University and a Geisinger Health System enterprise to foster collaborative medical technology research and development efforts.

The state-funded Keystone Innovation Grant will be shared by the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Ventures and Bucknell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in a partnership supported by the Bucknell Small Business Development Center, the only center in Pennsylvania with a focus on device prototyping.

The prominent opportunity provided for by the grant will be the joint hiring of a doctoral-level staff member who will facilitate cross-institutional research and technology development efforts.  The grant will also provide seed capital for projects with priority being given to Bucknell biomedical engineering senior design projects. At least five such projects are expected for 2008-09.

Technology development
“In recent years, technology development and transfer interactions between Bucknell and Geisinger have increased and proven progressively beneficial,” said Dan Cavanagh, associate professor of biomedical and chemical engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Bucknell.

Those interactions, said Cavanagh, have enhanced the professional experience for Bucknell’s engineering students, complemented Geisinger staff-driven projects, led to the development of medical technology prototypes and provided a solid foundation for future effective collaborations between the two institutions.

The U.S. biomedical device industry, one of the largest in the world at $92 billion, is driven in large part by biomedical innovation at U.S. universities and medical centers.

Innovative products
“This grant allows us to play a larger role in moving knowledge, including innovative products and services, from the laboratory to the market, where it will best serve the needs of the people we serve,” said Denise Prince, CEO, Geisinger Ventures. “Our goal is to create new opportunities for jobs and local revenue streams.”

Already, the Bucknell-Geisinger partnership has had successes including the development of an enhanced drug-injection device for use in emergency response. The device has yielded two patents, creation of a prototype and license discussions with a commercial firm.

While the interaction between Bucknell and Geisinger has yielded benefits over the past two years, no formal mechanism or administrative structure for technology transfer has existed. This collaboratively written grant is the first formal effort to provide the needed resources and structure.

Building bridges
Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell has expressed a deep commitment to regional economic development. One of the tenants of the University’s strategic plan, The Plan for Bucknell, is building bridges – in all their broadest forms.

Contact: Division of Communications

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