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FEBRUARY 12, 2020
Dear Colleagues,

2019 was a busy year for Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) as we expanded our program and pushed the boundaries of biomedical innovation. We invite you to browse the enclosed 2019 Impact Report. I think you will be impressed with the productivity of the FFMI team!

In December, we announced the launch of the exciting new Frankel Innovation Initiative, made possible by a $20 million gift from Maxine and Stuart Frankel that supports the research and development of transformative and life-saving therapies at Michigan Medicine. We are thrilled to have another unique resource to offer faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan as they work to move their groundbreaking biomedical research from lab to patient impact.

Over the past year, we continued to build our funding programs including the U-M Therapeutic Fund and the statewide MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub (in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U-M Office of Tech Transfer). The Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund made additional investments in U-M startups, and had their first exit when the portfolio company, Parabricks, was acquired by NVIDIA Healthcare.

Our education offerings also grew with the addition of the Aikens Innovation Academy program at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Biomedical Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. The FFMI fastPACE Course graduated two more cohorts, and the Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship continues to be a top choice for U-M medical students.

And our experienced Business Development team facilitated a number of important collaborations between U-M research faculty and external industry partners, such as Atomwise and Procter & Gamble.

2020 promises to be another outstanding year of biomedical innovation at the University of Michigan, and we look forward to contributing to that success by exploring and creating more opportunities and initiatives for our colleagues, collaborators, and customers across the U-M campus, the state, region, and nation.

Best Regards,
Bradley Martin, Ph.D.
Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Training & Events
Rare Disease Day 2020 Conference
Dr. Elif Oral and the U-M Department of Internal Medicine, in collaboration with Fast Forward Medical Innovation, are excited to announce the first university-wide multidisciplinary event to recognize World Rare Disease Day at the University of Michigan.

Friday, February 21, 2020
Building 18, Dining Hall

The goal of this conference is to create open communication and stimulate interdisciplinary research to accelerate the pace of discovery for those living with rare diseases. Attendees will learn about the innovative research being done in precision health, cardiovascular medicine, drug discovery, metabolism, endocrinology, and industry. In addition to research presentations, there will also be patient and caregiver panels to give insight on living with rare diseases.

If you have questions or would like to RSVP without CME credits, please email John Carzon .
Frankel Innovation Initiative Kicks Off!´╗┐
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us on January 29 as we officially kicked off the new Frankel Innovation Initiative.

Marschall Runge, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Michigan Medicine, and the Fast Forward Medical Innovation team, welcomed donors Stuart and Maxine Frankel to this event for the $20M fund they recently gifted to the Medical School.

Research faculty and staff from across the university attended to learn more about this groundbreaking fund aimed at supporting the research and development of transformative and life-saving therapies at Michigan Medicine.

The Frankel Innovation Initiative will fund five to seven projects annually, with each receiving between $250,000 - $1 million.

DEADLINE: April 1, 2020

For more information, contact Sara Risch, Biomedical Innovation Specialist, at or 734-764-5598.
Commercialization Education
Sign Up Today for FFMI fast PACE - Courses Start February 14
Do you have an innovative idea? Are you looking for funding, collaboration, and mentorship? The 12th cohort of the FFMI fastPACE course kicks off on February 14, 2020. The four-week course is designed to equip biomedical faculty and researchers with the knowledge and tools to navigate the initial process of commercialization.

Questions? Visit the FFMI fastPACE website or contact Jon Servoss at 734-764-2692 or
Biotech Career Development Program
The Biotech Career Development Program is a structured program provided by FFMI, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, and the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies to educate, train, and provide career exposure to many aspects of biotechnology outside of the traditional academic tenure-track faculty position.

The deadline to submit applications is March 2, 2020.

We are currently accepting applications from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists from life science programs.
Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship Begins New Cohort
The Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship welcomed 33 M1 medical students to this year's cohort. As a four-year program, the new cohort will participate in the "Foundations of Innovation" curriculum. Following the completion of their foundational experience, they will begin to develop and complete capstone projects to meet the Path of Excellence and medical school requirements.
Out & About with FFMI
FFMI is excited to introduce our newest staff member, Samantha Cook.

Samantha comes to FFMI with five years of experience in Instructional Design. Before joining FFMI, Sam was an Education and Operations Manager at SmithBucklin, an association management company in Chicago. There she developed, implemented, and evaluated continuing education programs for healthcare professionals including nurses, dentists, and genetic counselors.

Samantha earned her B.S. in Health Science at Northeastern University, and her M.S.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University.

Welcome, Sam!
Michelle Larkin, MSE, FFMI Director of Commercialization Programs, was recently interviewed for an article, "MTRAC: How a Michigan Life Science Startup is Born," highlighting the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's MTRAC program in the state of Michigan. The article focused on the program's goals to license technology invented in the academic system, mentor new founders who often did not start in industry, and help companies get funded through clinical trials and the push out to the commercial market.
Brad Martin, FFMI Director, and Hirak Parikh, Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund Program Manager, along with representatives from the U-M Tech Transfer Office, attended the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. The team had the opportunity to promote U-M biomedical innovation programs and opportunities for collaboration, as well as meet with a number of groups including venture capital, strategic industry partners, and academic innovation organizations.
FFMI Follow-Up
Get the Latest News on Projects and Teams that Received FFMI Funding, Training, and Support
On December 17, 2019, Parabricks, a portfolio company of the Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund (MBVF), was acquired by Nvidia Corp and became a part of Nvidia Healthcare. This acquisition of Parabricks was the MBVF's first exit and occurred less than two years after our first investment in the company.
Ripple Science, an Ann Arbor-based HIPAA compliant clinical research software company and Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund portfolio company, successfully raised a $2.5 million equity round. The round was led by Dundee Venture Capital, with local investors including The University of Michigan, Invest Detroit Ventures, and Red Cedar Ventures.
Mi-TRAC award winner, David Markovitz, M.D., was featured in an article that spotlighted his work on an antiviral compound modeled on a protein found in bananas that safely protects against multiple strains of the influenza virus.
Bulletin Board
Asahi Kasei Pharma Looking to Collaborate on Drug Development
Asahi Kasei Pharma  is publicly calling for new proposals related to drug development research as part of its efforts for open innovation to promote pharmaceutical research and development through enhanced cooperation with universities, research institutes, and enterprises around the world.

Research areas of focus are chronic pain and neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune disease, critical care medicine, bone and/or cartilage disease, muscle-related disease, and core technologies for drug discovery.

The application period ends at 8:00am GMT (3:00am EST) on February 26, 2020.

Contact  Debra Grega  for further details.
There's Still Time! Coulter Call for Proposals´╗┐
The U-M Coulter Program brings biomedical innovations into healthcare through a commercial entity. The program funds 4-8 projects per year with typical funding ranging from $80,000 to $150,000. Departmental cost sharing is not required.

Each project must involve a collaboration between U-M faculty from any College of Engineering department and from a clinical department. Each project aims to generate a new medical device, surgical tool, or clinical diagnostic test and is mentored by a team of industry experts to guide projects to the point of start up, partnering with industry, and follow-on funding.

DEADLINE: February 14, 2020
New Strategic Research Plan Announced
In a message to the biomedical research community, Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Executive Vice Dean for Research for the Medical School and Chief Scientific Officer for Michigan Medicine, recently announced the Medical School's new strategic research plan, "Great Minds, Greater Discoveries." The objective of the new multi-year plan is to increase faculty competitiveness and their ability to pursue major scientific questions in a rich and diverse environment that leads to discoveries that inspire new preventions, treatments, and cures.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
BSRB, Kahn Auditorium
Presentation & Networking Reception

"Our ultimate goal for 'Great Mind, Greater Discoveries' is to work together to create transformative knowledge that advances science and improves health," says Dr. Steven Kunkel. "I look forward to seeing everyone at the kickoff, and our entire research enterprise collaborating in the future on this exciting new initiative."
Michigan Medicine-PKUHSC Joint Institute Call for Proposals´╗┐
The 2020 request for proposals for collaborative research through the Michigan Medicine and Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) Joint Institute is now open.

Michigan Medicine's largest international institutional partnership, the Joint Institute offers Discovery Awards (up to $100,000 a year for two years), Pilot Awards (up to $300,000 a year for two years), and Innovation and Bridge Awards for one-year grants (up to $100,000) to help investigative teams develop new technologies and accelerate translation of research into a product.

DEADLINE: February 28, 2020
Working with Industry: Budgeting for Industry-Sponsored Studies
Join the Clinical Trials Support Office for the latest installment of their Working with Industry series, where faculty will learn how to become more involved in the budgeting process for industry-sponsored studies.

Tuesday, March 24
Taubman Library, Room 2901

Faculty will receive a step-by-step guide on developing a budget by Anna Lok, M.D., Assistant Dean for Clinical Research.
New Partnership Provides $10 Million for Drug-Development Research
U-M and Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC) have launched a partnership to accelerate the development of potential new medicines for a wide range of diseases. The new venture will provide up to a total of $10 million in financial support and in-kind industry resources to move various promising drug-discovery research projects within the university toward the ultimate goal of new therapies for patients.

Working with Michigan Drug Discovery, SPARC will support projects selected from across the U-M, with a focus on early-stage translational therapeutic work in the areas of oncology, neurodegeneration, inflammation, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Each selected project will have the potential to receive up to $1.5 million over a three-year period.

2020 Massey TBI Grand Challenge Kickoff on March 5
The Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) is bringing together experts from across disciplines to shape the future care of the "golden hours" that follow a severe traumatic brain injury.

Up to $650,000, plus a $40,000 Accelerator Award, is available to teams developing high-impact proposals of a diagnostic, device, therapeutic, or health IT solution.

DEADLINE: April 2, 2020
Our Collaborators
U-M Tech Transfer
To better navigate the complexities of the U-M biomedical research enterprise, visit the Research Project Lifecycle . This interactive tool provides an overview of the resources available to you, not only within the Medical School Office of Research but also across the University of Michigan.
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is part of the Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.