Yale University has announced a national program called Innovation to Impact to speed to market innovations that can directly fight substance abuse, including widespread opioid addiction. The program will launch at Yale from April 23-27, 2018 and is open to any innovator in the country who is interested in exploring how to apply creative solutions to target substance abuse and bring a product to market. Multiple pathways will be explored, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, biomedical devices, app development, behavioral interventions, and public policy.
According to a national survey on drug use and health, approximately 20.8 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Treating and preventing these disorders carries a cost of $193B to the public annually. Much of this funding goes to researchers to develop scientific innovations to fight drug addiction. But these innovations do not always advance beyond the lab.
“In many cases, the science is there,” says Patricia Simon, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry at Yale and Program Director of Innovation to Impact. “But many of these innovations fail to reach the public because scientists lack formal training in how to commercialize their innovations. This program aims to give them the tools to make their discoveries translate to real products and services that can help people in need.”
“It is incredibly exciting to see the foresight NIDA has in funding this program,” says Seth Feuerstein, M.D., J.D., Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Medical and Digital Innovation at Magellan Healthcare and Principal Investigator/Program Director of Innovation to Impact. “Accepted researchers will participate in a training program led by a team of entrepreneurs and educators who are skilled in advancing early technologies to the market. The program also provides seed funding and on-going mentorship,” Feuerstein added.