This Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) project, Creating a Sustainable Network for Bioengineering Innovation and Translational Research, will enhance innovation in bioengineering by creating a sustainable global network of university and corporate partners for the experiential education of new talent for the bioengineering workforce and improved translation of new bioengineering knowledge to products and services. The two major themes are "upstream innovation" and "globally distributed design." Upstream innovation is the concept that parallel, early interaction between business, scientific, engineering, legal, and marketing components can positively impact the level of innovation. Upstream innovation would be implemented by the creation of integrated Capstone Design teams, student internships at companies of varying size and maturity; and experienced corporate R&D people and entrepreneurs in residence. Globally distributed design involves student bioengineering teams represented globally through corporate internships in large corporations with international divisions and in distributed team design experiences with bioengineering programs at eleven international universities. Globally distributed design, therefore, simulates the real-world allocation of the components of project design to the units best suited to particular tasks as it occurs in many industrial R&D processes.

Given that bioengineering is one of the most rapidly growing employment fields in science, it is important to provide the capability to prepare new talent for the bioengineering workforce. The essence of the broader impact of the project derives from new linkages that cross cultural divides, geographical separation of universities, and corporate goals in bioengineering. This project will facilitate the creation of a sustainable global network of people, recognizing that the permanence will reside in the person-to-person ties that are forged, affecting generations of students from 12 countries. The flow of human capital to the U.S. and new routes for U.S. companies for effective globally distributed design will be improved. The international program hubs that are part of the partnership will realize enhanced preparation of their workforce and their nation's bioengineering economies. Business case studies on the effectiveness and value of upstream innovation and distributed design will be created and disseminated to students at other U.S. and international educational institutions. All of the 96 students involved will be engaged in a true intellectual collaboration with a foreign partner. In addition, underrepresented bioengineering students will participate in all aspects of the program.

Partners. Partners include corporations: IBM, Genzyme, Siemens, Gore, Philips, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Vital Images, Cierra , Tall Oaks Capital, Luna Innovations, Microsystems, PocketSonics, and Targeson; and universities on five continents: National University of Singapore, Imperial College (London), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland), Polytechnic University (Milan, Italy), Technical University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Fraunhofer Institut of Biomedical Technology (Germany), Linkoping University (Sweden), University of Cape Town (South Africa), Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (Argentina); IIT Kanpur (India); University of Ghana (Legon), Howard University (HBCU)(Washington, DC), Hampton University (HBCU)(Hampton, VA), and Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA).

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University of Virginia
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