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University Helps Create New Crowdfunding Initiative for Academic Researchers

Small-Scale Projects Intended to Benefit Society

Two biomedical devices from the University of Rochester—one to benefit children with autism and another for individuals who have lost the use of one or more limbs—will soon come to market, thanks to an innovative, new funding mechanism.

Last year, the University provided some of the initial money to create Innovocracy, a crowdfunding platform with a twist. While other crowdfunders focus on the fields of arts, science research, and start-up companies, Innovocracy is different: It deals exclusively with academic researchers who develop products that can benefit society. Additionally, Innovocracy targets small-scale projects—typically $15,000 or less—that often do not get the attention of major funders.

“The University was our very first launch partner,” said Mikael Totterman, chairman of Innovocracy. “The initiative would not have been possible without its participation.

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University Launches Center for Developing Medical Devices and Other Medical Innovations

The University of Rochester is combining its medical, engineering, and entrepreneurial expertise to create the Center for Medical Technology Innovation (CMTI).

A collaboration of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, CMTI will also make use of the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship as it coordinates activities to develop technological solutions to clinical problems.

“The medical device industry employs numerous engineers who lack critical clinical experience,” said Robert Clark, dean of the Hajim School. “This new center will help close that gap.”

The center will offer a master’s degree program in medical technology innovation. Students in the program will spend a minimum of two months in a clinical environment, enabling them to serve as a bridge between the medical and engineering faculty.

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