Read the FFMI Newsletter online: View as Webpage
JANUARY 9, 2019
$20 Million Frankel Innovation Initiative to Fund
´╗┐Life-Saving Research
The new Frankel Innovation Initiative is a $20 million gift from the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation set up to support the research and development of life-saving therapies at Michigan Medicine.

The $20 million gift funds four to five projects annually, with each project receiving between $250,000 - $1 million. The projects are selected by an oversight committee of internationally renowned scientists and venture capitalists external to U-M.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this new funding program, and please join FFMI at an information session and reception.

Frankel Innovation Initiative Kickoff
Wednesday, January 29
Reception Immediately Following
Kahn Auditorium, BSRB
Free valet parking

Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Michigan Medicine, and the FFMI team will provide a program overview and fund details, followed by a question & answer session.

The fund is administered by FFMI and targets U-M faculty-led projects that have the potential for rapid clinical application and groundbreaking impact.

"FFMI is excited to be part of this unique funding opportunity and honored that the Frankels chose us to manage their generous gift," said Brad Martin, Ph.D., FFMI Managing Director. "FFMI's proven expertise in moving medical technologies from ideas to commercialization makes us well-positioned to partner with other institutions to achieve results that positively affect human health and save lives."
Mi-Kickstart Applications Due February 1
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is accepting proposals for the next round of Mi-Kickstart.

Mi-Kickstart awards, made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the U-M Medical School Office of Research, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, offer early-stage funding to biomedical researchers across the state of Michigan. This award is designed to enhance the commercial potential of a technology owned by any Michigan-based non-profit to the point of demonstration of utility and possible inclusion in Mi-TRAC or other research funding programs.

Beginning in 2020, the Mi-Kickstart program will be moving to a semi-annual RFP, with proposals due on the first of February and August.

Questions? Contact Sara Risch, Ph.D., Biomedical Innovation Specialist at 734-764-5598 or
Commercialization Education
Sign Up Today for FFMI fast PACE - Courses Start February 2020
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
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence - Application Now Open
The Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I & E) Path of Excellence program is in the process of recruiting their M1 2020 cohort. The Path application is now open and will close on January 13, 2020. The M1 I & E cohort will start their "Foundations of Innovation" training in February.
Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research Holds Drug Discovery and Development Course
Under the strategic partnership established earlier this year between U-M and the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research (NIBR), FFMI, in partnership with the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research's Drug Repurposing Center, hosted a two-day Drug Discovery and Development course. The course was facilitated by NIBR's lead scientific educator, Dr. Ross Tracey, and U-M's Dr. Johnny Sexton.

The Drug Discovery and Development course offered a computer simulated project where 18 selected U-M faculty members were assigned different roles across a project team navigating the critical decisions of pre-clinical and clinical development of a novel drug, The goal was to simulate the whole drug discovery path in order to understand the process and challenges involved in the discovery and development of new medicine.
Frankel Cardiovascular Center Awards Grand Prize in Annual Innovation Challenge Pitch Competition
The Frankel Cardiovascular Center (FCVC) held its 4th Innovation Challenge pitch competition. The $50,000 grand prize was awarded to The Burson Project: tell me what you want when you can't tell me what you want, led by Lori Laczynski, MSN, RN, CVICU Clinical Nursing Director, and her former patient, Mark Burson.

The Burson Project is a patient communication app for patients that can't speak or write. It is based on Mark's experience in the CVICU (heart/kidney transplant, 13 months inpatient in various units).

The idea has evolved over the past year with help from the FCVC Innovation Program, Fast Forward Medical Innovation, and the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), including a FCVC Design Thinking workshop, the Aikens Innovation Academy, and OTT's Digital Discovery Process. The FCVC Innovation Challenge prize is $50,000 to build the app.
FFMI Follow-Up
EVOQ Therapeutics Wins Pitch Competition
EVOQ Therapeutics, a Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund portfolio company and Mi-TRAC award winner, took first place at the 10th annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), a pitch competition that provides critical funding and support for Michigan startups. The company was chosen from 24 finalists as the winner of the $350,000 grand prize.
Bulletin Board
Nominations Sought for Associate Deans for Research in the Medical School
Chief Scientific Officer, Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., recently announced the search to fill two associate dean for research positions for the U-M Medical School Office of Research: one for Basic and Translational research and the second for Clinical and Translational research.

Both of these positions will report to Dr. Kunkel, and will participate in shaping the broader vision for the Medical School research mission, as well as advising on enterprise-wide policies, procedures, and operations.
Registration Open for the 2020 Massey TBI Grand Challenge
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.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Building 18, Dining Hall

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.
Learn How to Write Winning NIH R01 Grant Proposals´╗┐
Previously available only to R01 Boot Camp participants, all UMMS researchers are invited to this annual grant writing workshop on Tuesday, February 4, 2020,

The Medical School Office of Research welcomes back John Robertson, Ph.D., of Grant Writers' Seminars & Workshops, who will be presenting the workshop.

Registration ends January 20, 2020.

The $329 registration fee includes the workshop manual, session materials, a light breakfast, and lunch.
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.