I-Corps@NCATS trains clinical and translational science teams to accelerate translation of research innovations into practice.

Academic Article


  • INTRODUCTION: A key barrier to translation of biomedical research discoveries is a lack of understanding among scientists regarding the complexity and process of implementation. To address this challenge, the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps™ (I-Corps™) program trains researchers in entrepreneurship. We report results from the implementation of an I-Corps™ training program aimed at biomedical scientists from institutions funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). METHODS: National/regional instructors delivered 5-week I-Corps@NCATS short courses to 62 teams (150 individuals) across six institutions. Content included customer discovery, value proposition, and validating needs. Teams interviewed real-life customers and presented the value of innovations for specific end-users weekly, culminating in a "Finale" featuring their refined business thesis and business model canvas. Methodology was developed to evaluate the newly adapted program. National mixed-methods evaluation assessed program implementation, reach, effectiveness using observations of training delivery and surveys at Finale (n = 55 teams), and 3-12 months post-training (n = 34 teams). RESULTS: Innovations related to medical devices (33%), drugs/biologics (20%), software applications (16%), and diagnostics (8%). An average of 24 interviews was conducted. Teams reported increased readiness for commercialization over time (83%, 9 months; 14%, 3 months). Thirty-nine percent met with institutional technology transfer to pursue licensing/patents and 24% pursued venture capital/investor funding following the short courses. CONCLUSIONS: I-Corps@NCATS training provided the NCATS teams a rigorous and repeatable process to aid development of a business model based on customer needs. Outcomes of this pilot program support the expansion of I-Corps™ training to biomedical scientists for accelerating research translation.
  • Authors


  • Innovation Corps (I-Corps), evaluation, innovation, research commercialization, training
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nearing K; Rainwater J; Neves S; Bhatti P; Conway B; Hafer N; Harter K; Kenyon N; McManus MM; McNeal DM
  • Start Page

  • e66
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 1