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


INVENT Healthcare Innovation Seminar Series - Save the date

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The INVENT Healthcare Innovation Seminar Series will cover the fundamentals of commercialization and entrepreneurship and feature talks by entrepreneurial experts across the region. Seminars will be held every other month.
Participants: The series is open to anyone at OHSU with an interest in innovation as well as the public.

November Topic: Stanford Biodesign; Needs-based Innovation in Healthcare 

Speaker: Ryan Krone, PhD, Innovation and Commercialization Director, Cancer Early Detection and Advanced Research (CEDAR), OHSU
Date and Time: November 7, 2019, Noon-1 p.m.
Where: OHSU, Knight Cancer Research Building 1011 (first floor), 2720 S.W. Moody Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201
Learn more: Contact Sarah Biber ( or Melissa Mudd (

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OHSU Innovators Forum

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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 December Forum: TBD

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: December 5, 2019, noon-1pm
Where: OHSU, MacKenzie Hall, Room 1162, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239
Note: Lunch will be provided for all registered participants
Registration: Required

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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
  • Next Deadline: October 11, 2019
  • 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 Session We leverage Global Data and MedTrack competitive intelligence platforms and other resources to provide individual market research support for innovators seeking to learn more about the competitive landscape related to their ideas or technology. This can be valuable for charting business plans, SBIR/STTR commercialization sections, investor pitches, identifying potential industry partners, and more.
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? 

Bend Venture Conference 

BendVenture Conference

When: October 17 - 18, 2019
Where: Bend, OR
Learn more: Visit BVC
Registration: Register here

Oregon Bioscience Association Company Pitch Fest and Research Fast Pitch

Oregon Bioscience Pitch Fest

When: October 29, 2019
Where: World Trade Center, Portland, OR
Learn more: Visit Oregon Bio
Registration: Register here


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. 


November 2019

Thursday, 11/7, 12:00pm-1:00pm