Crain’s Cleveland Business | Cleveland Clinic Innovations Teams Up With Digital Manufacturing Company to Offer Innovation Award

Minnesota-based digital manufacturing company Protolabs (NYSE: PRLB) has teamed up with the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Innovations Alliance — a network of health care organizations, corporations and universities focused on innovation in health care — to offer an awards program to help propel novel health care ideas.

The new initiative is part of Protolabs’ Cool Idea Award program, which began in 2011 and has since granted more than $1 million in manufacturing services to winners with promising new product ideas. Looking to create a vertical of the award program in health care, Protolabs teamed up with the Clinic.

The collaboration, “Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant,” will further assist Healthcare Innovations Alliance members to turn their innovative ideas into real-world products and devices, with selected winners receiving in-kind manufacturing services from Protolabs, according to a news release. This would support development, including building prototypes or supporting initial production runs, and eventual commercialization of products.

“We are excited to welcome Protolabs to our Innovations Alliance program,” Pete O’Neill, executive director at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, said in a prepared statement. “Health care is changing rapidly, and we must innovate at a similar pace to improve outcomes for patients everywhere. This relationship with Protolabs will help the inventor communities across our Alliance program more rapidly develop and test their solutions, and ultimately improve patient care.”

Through the Healthcare Innovations Alliance, Cleveland Clinic Innovations formally partners with several health care institutions and corporate partners — including Parker Hannifin, MedStar Health, The Innovation Institute and SABIC — to streamline and scale commercialization efforts, according to the release. More…