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:

  • Supporting clinicians and other healthcare professionals within the Department of Surgery (DoS) throughout the 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 Seminar Series | TBD

The Invent Seminar Series hosts experts from the life science community to introduce fundamental principles of commercialization and entrepreneurship. In this month's seminar, speakers will focus on "How to approach market research." This event aims to inspire and guide innovations from the university to the market, offer skill-building opportunities, develop a broad awareness of the commercialization pathway, and create robust networking opportunities. Register today.

Learn more: Contact Sarah Biber, PhD (
Date and Time: TBD
Where: TBD
Registration: Required. Register today


OHSU Innovators Forum | April 7, 2020

Graphic of meeting

Join your fellow entrepreneurial-minded colleagues for this lively and informal opportunity to share your ideas and prototypes and receive input from a diverse cross section of clinicians, scientists, engineers, business and commercialization experts, and industry professionals. 

Agenda for January Forum: TBD -  Discussions will be followed by an “open mic” period that is open to anyone in attendance.

Eligibility: Forum meetings are open to anyone at OHSU active or interested in solving clinical problems with novel technologies regardless of experience level. Experts from outside of OHSU can join the forum by invitation.

Learn more: Contact Sarah Biber, PhD (
Date and Time: April 7, 2020 | 12 - 1 p.m.
Where: OHSU, Knight Cancer Research Building, Room 1011, 2720 SW Moody Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97239
Note: Lunch will be provided for all registered participants
Registration: Required. Register Here



OCTRI Commercialization Design Studio – SBIR/STTR

Proposal Development Support

Increase your application's competitiveness with this proposal development resource. Receive free advice and feedback from a panel of SBIR/STTR experts on your commercialization strategy and opportunity, research approach, feasibility assessment and overall readiness, among other critical review components. View more detailsClosed to an audience for confidentiality.

Sessions are offered 3 times annually, ahead of major SBIR/STTR deadlines:

  • February 2020, TBD
  • July 2020, TBD
  • November 2020, TBD

Contact Melissa Mudd if you wish to present or have questions:

Commercialization Design Studios are offered at no-cost to investigators by the Collaborations and Entrepreneurship (C&E) office and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI).


Commercialization Design Studio

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.


Monday, Feb 10th 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 Melissa Mudd ( to learn more and sign up to present.

OHSU Market Research Lab

Market Research Lab is a new resource for entrepreneurs, clinicians, and researchers at OHSU who are interested in learning more about diagnostic, device, and digital health markets.  The service leverages the competitive intelligence platform,  Global Data Medical, and connects you with a facilitator who can help you search for relevant market data. Market Research Lab can be a valuable tool for vetting early stage ideas and can help support successful technology development and commercialization. 
Market Research Lab provides access to data and reports that can help you: • Evaluate the market potential of an early stage idea • Bolster the commercialization section of a grant (STTR/SBIR, BIP, other) and/or investor pitch • Explore market trends and projections and understand the market landscape for a given sector • Assess competing technologies (pipeline and marketed) and companies • Search for relevant clinical trials and licensing deals • Identify potential partners
Market Research Lab is available to all OHSU community members by appointment.  Schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with a Global Data facilitator for assistance searching this database and gathering information on your technology idea or healthcare innovation questions.

Learn more about Global Data Medical and the resources that are available on this competitive intelligence platform. 

The Market Research Lab is powered by the OHSU Library, Surgical Innovation Program, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer, and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

To learn more, please contact: Robin Champieux, M.L.I.S Assistant Professor, Library Director of Digital Scholarship and Research Engagement
Sarah Biber, Ph.D.
Innovation Manager, Department of Surgery, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute


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.

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: February 14, 2020; June 12, 2020; 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

Connect with us:

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

Support Description
Idea Consultation Feedback on ideas for unmet clinical needs or technology solutions. We can also help connect you with business mentors with the appropriate domain expertise.
Innovation Navigation Assistance navigating the commercialization process at OHSU and connecting with available resources.
Market Research Lab The OHSU Market Research Lab is a consultation service that leverages Global Data Medical , a competitive intelligence platform. Global Data can be a valuable resource for exploring the market potential of device, diagnostic and digital health technologies. This database includes information on pipeline and marketed technologies, clinical trials, market projections and comprehensive sector reports. Market Research Lab is available to all OHSU community members by appointment. You can schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with a Global Data facilitator to gather information on your technology idea or healthcare innovation questions. The Market Research Lab is powered by the OHSU Library, Surgical Innovation Program, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Schedule an appointment. Questions? Contact Robin Champieux at or Sarah Biber at
Prototype Development (Device or Digital) We can assist in connecting with engineers and fabrication resources.
Funding Facilitation We can help connect you with assistance, feedback, and support around grant submission (e.g. BIP, SBIR/STTR, Phase 0, foundation), and investor outreach (e.g. Investor connections, pitch development, mentor matching).

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? 


Sarah Biber, Ph.D., has been actively engaged in the healthcare innovation and research sectors over the past 15 years and has a special interest in advancing medical device, diagnostic, digital health, and precision medicine technologies. She has just started her new role as Innovation Manager within the Department of Surgery at OHSU and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI), and is working to develop new programs, strategic partnerships, and processes to further foster, support, and accelerate innovation.

In addition to promoting surgical innovation, she is focused on collaboratively building cross-departmental and OHSU-wide innovation initiatives. Dr. Biber previously served as the Assistant Director for NIH’s National Center for Data to Health (CD2H), based out of OCTRI at OHSU. 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, Dr. Biber 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 previously served on the board of Women in Science PDX and is passionate about promoting women and other underrepresented groups in STEM.

Trish Loftesness, M.B.A. is the Program Administrator for the Department of Surgery and the Surgical Innovation Program.  She has been at Oregon Health & Science University for more than 20 years working primarily in the Ambulatory and Finance areas.  Her project management skills and vast experience at OHSU allow her to facilitate the Innovation Program’s mission to transform surgical care by fostering, supporting and accelerating innovation.