Surgical Innovation Program

Our mission is to transform surgical care by fostering, supporting, and accelerating innovation.

We do this in partnership with and with generous support from the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute by:

  • Providing support and strategic guidance to clinicians within DoS throughout the technology development and commercialization process.
  • Implementing programs and initiatives within DoS, and in collaboration with other departments across OHSU, that provide education on the innovation and commercialization process and bring together interdisciplinary teams to develop technological solutions to unmet clinical needs.
  • Building strategic industry and academic partnerships to support technology development and adoption of cutting-edge innovations within DoS.
  • Working cross-departmentally and regionally to facilitate collaborations and coalesce and leverage innovation resources and expertise


OHSU Invent-a-thon | October 23-25

OHSU Invent-a-thon

Applications due October 14 for OHSU Invent-a-thon, Online, Oct. 23–25

Open to Department of Surgery Faculty, Residents, Staff, and Alumni. Get the inspiration, support, and team that you need to propel an idea into action!

This is an exciting opportunity for healthcare and allied professionals to get the support, team, and connections that they need to kick-start new medtech and digital health solutions to advance:

  • Surgical care
  • Early disease detection
  • Rural health
  • Management of chronic conditions
  • Health equity

Pitch a solution to investor judges to compete for $40,000 in team prizes. 

How to get involved? Learn more and apply as a participant or mentor by October 14 at

Please contact Dr. Sarah Biber ( with questions.

Commercialization Design Studio | November 11

OCTRI and OHSU’s Collaborations and Entrepreneurship office is offering a Commercialization Design Studio, for investigators who plan to submit a Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grant proposal.

The Commercialization Design Studio provides valuable feedback during proposal development to enhance your proposal’s competitiveness. Expert consultants in SBIR/STTR, including study section review, the NIH and NSF process, and successful award recipients, are invited to listen to a short presentation of your proposal to ask questions and provide feedback on your commercialization strategy and opportunity, research approach, feasibility assessment and overall readiness, among other critical review components. Reviewers are required to sign NDAs and the room is invite-only to protect confidentiality.


Wednesday, Nov 11th from 11-2pm

Three one-hour slots are available and offered at no-cost to investigators by the Collaborations and Entrepreneurship (C&E) office and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI).


Contact Natalie Lovelace ( to learn more and sign up to present.


Invent Seminar: Launch your idea with market research and customer outreach

This event was for innovators and entrepreneurs in biosciences and healthcare who are interested in how to take an idea to market.  Four panelists will share tips and tricks from their 60+ years of combined experience successfully launching and commercializing healthcare technologies.  The panelists include three CEOs leading thriving Portland-based startups and a professional healthcare market strategy consultant. Come learn what strategies you can employ to gain an understanding of your market and customers and to better position your idea or technology for the next stage.

The event took place on Thursday, June 25, 20201 to 2:30 p.m.  Click here to listen to the seminar.


Aaron Call, founding principle, Jaunt
Holly Rockweiler, CEO and co-founder, Madorra
Fahti Khosrowshahi, CEO and founder, Ceek Women’s Health
Patti White, CEO and co-founder, Hemex Health

Foresight 2019-2020 Niche Assessment Program

Foresight Science & Technology's Niche Assessment program provides awardees with market insight and data that can be used to help strategically position their technology in the marketplace, develop their commercialization plans for their Phase II application, and expose them to potential partners. The program is designed to help small businesses jump start their commercialization efforts. All active HHS (NIH, CDC, FDA) SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees and Phase I Fast-Track awardees (by grant or contract) are eligible to apply. Apply today.

Oregon Bio

The Oregon Bioscience Association invites high school through post-doctoral researchers as well as bio entrepreneurs leading early- and later-stage startups from Oregon and Southwest Washington to compete in Oregon Bio’s expanded pitch events. Scientists and companies in the areas of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics and digital health are eligible. Entrants are asked to show how their work/intel explores a current bio-problem and what solutional, transformative approach they’ve derived. The categories are:

  • Basic Research
  • Translational Research
  • Early-Stage Startup
  • Later-Stage Startup

Compete for $10k in prizes.

Apply to pitch at #ORBioDigital. Apps due 10/8/2020 at


  • About:  The IDEA Fund will provide three main types of support: startup, proof-of-concept, and educational.

    Startup funding is open to researchers who are part of an OHSU-associated startup. These startups can apply for a total of up to $30,000 in funding; up to $15,000 in seed funding for new startups and up to $15,000 in SBIR or STTR grant matching support. Funds are intended to be used by startups for technology research and development, intellectual property protection, regulatory assistance and more.

    Proof-of-concept support will provide funding for BIP projects; for example, the recent BIP COVID-19 Rapid Response opportunity was funded through the IDEA Fund. This funding will also aim to provide follow-on funding for BIP projects and expand support of existing technology development programs.

    Educational support will go to existing programs that encourage innovation and commercialization at OHSU, such as the programs under OHSU Collaborations and Entrepreneurship. Ideas for similar programs could also potentially be supported.

    There is no specified minimum or maximum funding amount for proof-or-concept and educational awards, but awards will be commensurate with project scope and the amount of available funds.

  • To learn more contact
  • Amount: Up to $30,000; $15,000 in seed funding, $15,000 in SBIR or STTR grant matching
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • How to apply: Submit an application form to


New Investigator Grant

  • About: Through this award, the MRF supports promising new investigators in biomedical research. Principal investigators must be at the beginning of an independent career with a faculty position at one of Oregon's colleges or universities. A letter of support from the department chair or the institute director must accompany each application describing the independence of the principal investigator and the commitment of the unit to that investigator and their research program. To learn more contact .
  • Amount: Up to $50,000
  • Deadline: April 15, August 15, December 15
  • How to apply: Complete application found here 


Early Clinical Investigator Grant

  • About: Through this award, the MRF supports promising biomedical exploration and the development of research careers in clinical investigation in Oregon. Principal investigators must be a post-doctoral trainee or clinical fellow with specific plans for a career in clinical research. A letter of support from the department chair or division head and from the director of the training program must accompany each application. The Applicant Qualifications Form should be completed by the applicant's mentor and included with the application and support letters.  To learn more contact .
  • Amount: Up to $30,000
  • Deadline: April 15, August 15, December 15
  • How to apply: Complete application found here


Early-stage Technology Award Program

  • About: Every other month, OHSU Technology Transfer offers a technology development award to support promising early-stage technologies. Technologies are selected based on novelty and market opportunity, as well as the initial data provided with the technology disclosure. This program is supported by OHSU Technology Transfer (TT). To learn more contact
  • Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • How to apply: Submit a technology disclosure form to


Collins Medical Research Trust

  • About: The OHSU Foundation coordinates OHSU's relationship with the Collins Medical Trust which provides funds "To aid, further, promote, develop, encourage and sponsor research, experiment and work in the cause, cure and treatment of human disease or in any field of medical research, and to aid, further and promote medical education." To learn more visit O2 and the Collins Medical Trust. For questions or to reach out to the trust, please contact Juli Bailey ( ) or
  • Amount: Up to $30,000 per project
  • Upcoming Deadlines: October 9, 2020
  • How to apply: Submit a notice of intent to at the OHSU Foundation


Phase 0 and 00 SBIR/STTR Grants Program

  • About: Business Oregon provides Phase 0 and 00 grants to help researchers and businesses prepare better applications for the highly competitive SBIR/STTR program. Phase 0 grants go to businesses pursuing federal Phase I SBIR/STTR grant funds, while Phase 00 grants help businesses going for federal Phase II or Fast-Track grants.  To Learn more visit Business Oregon and review Program Guidelines
  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Next Deadline: Rolling (proposals should be submitted to Business Oregon at least 6 weeks prior to SBIR/STTR grant deadline)
  • How to apply: Submit an application to Mark Brady (


NIH HEAL Initiative: Translational Development of Devices to Treat Pain U18


The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support preclinical development and demonstration of safe, effective, and non-addictive device-based technologies and approaches to treat pain. The goal of the program is to demonstrate treatment using credible neural targets for device-based interventions and/or diagnostics for pain, building upon the latest mechanistic knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of central, spinal, and peripheral pathways involved in pain. Awarded activities will facilitate the translation of new devices up to the stage of readiness for first in human (FIH) clinical trials by overcoming key challenges identified during preliminary proof-of-concept studies. The scope of the program includes technology development and optimization, and studies to prepare for approvals for human use. This is a milestone-driven cooperative agreement program and will involve participation of NIH program staff in the development of the project plan and monitoring of research progress.     

Funding available: Up to $500,000 in direct costs

More information: Learn more here and via the RFA

Application deadline: Multiple throughout the year


Biomedical Innovation Program (BIP) – Digital Health

Do you have an idea for a new digital health technology to improve healthcare delivery or advance biomedical research that has the potential to be commercialized, achieve cost savings, enhance research efficiency, improve quality of patient care and/or reduce provider burnout? If so, I strongly encourage you to apply for an internal grant that is now available through OCTRI’s new Biomedical Innovation Program (BIP) - Digital Health. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for up to $30,000

Connect with us:

Please submit a request here to be connected with any of the support described below.

For OHSU Community Members:

Please  submit a request to be connected with any of the support described below (available to all members of the OHSU community)

Support Description
Industry Partnerships We can help facilitate partnerships with everything from large industry partners to startup companies for joint technology development, sponsored research, and more.
Academic Collaborations We can help connect you with academic collaborators within OHSU and at other regional universities for joint technology development, and other innovation activities.

For External Partners and Collaborators:

Are you a prospective academic or industry partner interested in a potential collaboration with the Department of Surgery? 


Dr. Biber has led the Surgical Innovation Program at OHSU since 2019 and has been actively engaged in the healthcare innovation sector over the past six years. She most recently served as the Assistant Director for NIH’s National Center for Data to Health (CD2H), based out of the OCTRI. While at the CD2H, she played a critical role in launching the center and co-led initiatives to facilitate informatics innovation, data sharing, software development, and collaboration across the Clinical Translational Science Awards Program. Prior to her CD2H role, she was Entrepreneurial Program Director at the Oregon Bioscience Incubator where she helped grow the incubator three-fold and spearheaded statewide programs and partnerships to support entrepreneurs and startups. During this time she also served as chair of the Startup Resource Workgroup for the Portland Innovation Quadrant and co-founded Accelerate Biotech and Digital Health PDX.

Dr. Biber is thrilled to be serving as Innovation Manager for the Department of Surgery and OCTRI. She enjoys working with early stage entrepreneurs to help them successfully launch, develop, and raise funds for technologies and working collaboratively with others across OHSU and the community to build strategies, programs, and partnerships to advance innovation.