Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Graphic of OCTRI's innovation programming and how it is related to each other. See pdf in first paragraph of this page for details.

OCTRI strives to cultivate innovation in research.  Whether you have a burgeoning idea or a proof of concept that is ready for design, OCTRI has education opportunities to meet your needs.  Download a flyer that summarizes our programming or read more below.

Annual programming

OCTRI offers several innovation and entrepreneurship programs on an annual basis. Review these options below and check back regularly for updates on upcoming opportunities.

I-Corps @ NCATS

This 6-week I-Corps short course provides biomedical scientists, clinician scientists, and engineers with a new approach to accelerate the translation of discoveries from lab to clinical practice. Based on the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, the premiere federally-funded innovation and commercialization training in the U.S., BIP Corp is an evidence-based experience that will take you out of your comfort zone to connect with potential customers and provide you with a competitive business case for future funding, partnership and translational science opportunities. 
BIP Corp fact sheet and course details

Anticipated 2024 course schedule
      Sept  - Oct  (Virtual)
      Weekly, 2 hour sessions

Contact Melissa Mudd for more information:
Enrollment is currently closed.

This course is  offered  in partnership between OCTRI, OHSU offices of Collaborations and Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, and the I-Corps@NCATS consortium led by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UL1TR003096). 

The OHSU Student Innovator Challenge is a student pitch competition, intended for student-led concepts or technologies. Students will come away with the skills and resources to:

  • Develop an effective pitch for a broad audience 
  • Understand the basics of bringing a concept from idea to market
  • Gain practical experience developing an idea into a tangible outcome
  • Connect with expert innovators and mentors from across the region

Winners of the Innovate Challenge receive a $2,500 prototyping grant and advance to compete for up to $30,000 in cash awards in the InventOR Finals

Contact Melissa Mudd with questions.

2021 InventOR - OHSU statewide finalists

Ashraf Samhan and Stephanie MacDonald

Ashraf Samhan (left) and Stephanie MacDonald (right) are medical students in OHSU's Surgical Telehealth Analytics and Research (STAR) Lab led by Dr. Vahagn Nikolian. They won the 2021 Student Innovator Challenge and competed in the InventOR finals on June 25, 2021. Their project is an augmented reality technology designed to enhance medical student training on surgical rotations, with the goal of overcoming disparities in surgical training.

2020 InventOR - OHSU statewide finalists

2020 Innovator Challenge winners

Avathamsa Athirasala (left), a PhD candidate in OHSU Biomedical Engineering, competed in the 2020 InventOR finals for Microcosm, a high throughput screening platform for cell response to microenvironmental conditions.

Daniel Mullee (right), an MD candidate, competed in the 2020 InventOR finals for IntraMon, an intraluminal wireless monitoring device. IntraMon won the Visionary Award for "bold, ambitious thinking that makes a difference in the world."

2019 InventOR - OHSU statewide finalists

Geoff and Erik with their Shift.AI prototype booth

Geoffrey Schau and Erik Burlingame, PhD candidates in OHSU Biomedical Engineering, competed in the 2019 InventOR finals for Shift.AI, an artificial intelligence-powered technology for detecting cancer. Shift.AI won the $2,500 Impact Award.

Ryan Thrower_advancing in InventOR 2019 competition

Ryan Thrower, DMD candidate in OHSU School of Dentistry, competed in the 2019 InventOR finals for Funject, a kid-friendly injection device.

Ongoing & Quarterly programming

OCTRI offers innovation and entrepreneurship programming throughout the year. Review our year-round programming options below.

Lecture graphic

The OHSU Innovates Seminar Series goes beyond traditional innovation discussions, exploring how diversity in thought, background, and experience leads to more robust and creative solutions. Join us as we delve into inspiring stories, share valuable insights, and engage in thought-provoking conversations that not only drive innovation but also ensure that the benefits are accessible to all.

 Through interactive sessions, expert panels, and collaborative workshops, we aim to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds, break down barriers, and catalyze a more equitable and innovative future. Whether you're an academic scientist, clinician, professional, student, or simply passionate about driving positive change, this series offers a platform to learn, connect, and contribute to a more inclusive and innovative world.

Open to the OHSU and greater entrepreneurial community.

Upcoming OHSU Innovates Seminars

Click on images to view past recordings.
First slide of webinar stating: Promoting Inventory Equity in Patenting

Equity and Inclusivity in Patents
Presenters: Stephen Sullivan, Carmem Pfeiffer, Ruchi Thanawala
April 17, 2024

First slide of webinar stating: Placing Regulatory Strategy at the Core of MedTech Innovation presented by Timothy Bubb, Technical Director

Placing Regulatory Strategy at the Core of MedTech Innovation
Presenter: Timothy Bubb
February 7, 2024

Image of the first slide of a seminar titled Securing Non-Dilutive Funding for Innovate Businesses

Securing Non-Dilutive Funding for Innovative Businesses
Presenter: Nyah Zarate, Ph.D.
January 24, 2024

First slide of webinar stating: Navigating FDA Interactions for Early-Stage Biotech's. A Guide to Successful Regulatory Engagements

Navigating FDA Interactions for Early-Stage Biotechs: A Guide to Successful Regulatory Engagements
Presenters: Zeb Younes and Dan Cafaro
December 6, 2023

The FDA Regulated Landscape - Title Slide

Demystifying the Regulatory Landscape: A Roadmap for Healthcare Technologies
Presenter: Brie Stoianoff
October 28, 2021

INVENT and SoPE: Alternative Funding Panel

Invent and SoPE Alternative Funding Panel
March 18, 2020

Invent Panelists: Aaron Call, Holly Rockweiler, Fahti Khosrowshahi, and Patti White

Leveraging Market Research and Customer Outreach to Successfully Launch your Idea
June 25, 2020

This is a screen shot of video recording of the Market Research Deep Dive Seminar hosted with OBI.

Market Research Deep Dive
In Partnership with OTRADI/OBI
November 10, 2020

one person presenting to a group around an office table

The Drug and Device Advisory Committee (DDAC) provides a no-cost consultation and advice to investigatory teams, focusing on tasks needed to efficiently move a new drug or device towards commercialization. The DDAC advisory panel is comprised of individuals with diverse experience and expertise in life science technology development and entrepreneurship. They can advise in the areas of FDA regulatory affairs, IP development and protection, clinical protocol, engineering, and marketing.

Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 2-3:30 pm.

Teams interested in receiving feedback on project development should email Claudia Nakama, OCTRI Innovation Alliance Manager at 

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Need assistance with market research for your technology or idea? Survey the competitive landscape with GlobalData Medical.  Schedule an appointment with OHSU's Market Research Lab.

Commercialization resources

OCTRI's innovation and entrepreneurship team gathers and vets commercialization resources. We store those that pass our vetting process here.

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The federal government provides early-stage capital for startups through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant programs.

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"All about the SBIR Grant Process: An insider's Perspective", a comprehensive look into the SBIR/STTR programs by Dr. Jim O'Halloran, expert SBIR veteran and study section reviewer. 

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NSF Webinar: Start Your Project Pitch. Peter Atherton, an SBIR/STTR Program Director, discusses the first step: the Project Pitch.

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OHSU's Entrepreneur-In-Residence program supports clinicians and researchers as they develop innovations for commercialization. Learn more about the EIR program.

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Listen to Steve Runnels, one of OHSU's EIRs, discuss his role in an interview by EIR Podcast. 

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ScienceDocs provides writing support services for research and startup funding, publication, and technical communications.  Review additional ScienceDocs resources here.

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Questions? Reach out!

Melissa Mudd, MPH
Innovation Education Manager

Join OHSU's Innovation and Commercialization Mailing List

Receive news, events, and updates involving OHSU innovations.

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OCTRI Innovation Programs & Awards Report

Check out our achievements and outcomes from the last 5 years!

Read the report

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Biomedical Innovation Program

Apply for funding for your collaborative translational research.

Get the details