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BME M.S. program in MedTech Innovation + Entrepreneurship has just received a grant from VentureWell and the Lemelson Foundation in the amount of $27k. The grant funds are to be used for “Development of a new course and URM recruitment initiatives to support medical device innovation and entrepreneurship” under the supervision of BME Associate Professor and Founding Director of the MS MedTech program David Zaharoff, together with the Associate Director of MS MedTech Matt R. Penny, as well as Assistant Professor Kennita Johnson, who is also Director of Equity and Diversity for the BME department.

Our MS MedTech program is an 11-month accelerated learning, team-based and project-based curriculum focused on new medical device development, innovation and entrepreneurship. Funding from VentureWell will support the development of a new course within the MS program in Medical Device Materials and Manufacturing (MDMM), which will provide students with a focused immersion into materials and manufacturing techniques that are common in medical devices. In particular, the course will enhance the capabilities of the student teams to develop better proofs of principle which will increase the likelihood of the teams acquiring funding to continue their operations following graduation. A parallel goal of this grant is to recruit students from underrepresented minorities (URM) in the MS program.

VentureWell is the brainchild of Jerry Lemelson, the organization started as one of The Foundation’s earliest grantees, founded at Hampshire College in 1995 as an autonomous program by a consortium of five colleges called the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Their ultimate mission is to support faculty in developing programs that cultivate student innovators and promote institutional change. Congratulations to the MS MedTech Program team, Dr David Zaharoff, Matt Penny, and Dr. Kennita Johnson! To read about this year’s VentureWell Course & Program 14 Grantees, please visit their website here.

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