Now in its third year, the Innovation Zone at the BIO 2016 International Convention (San Francisco, June 6-9) will host even more pioneering and transformational companies. The Innovation Zone was created through a partnership with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the intent to group Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-funded companies together on the exhibit floor of the BIO International Convention. The partnership originated in 2014 with 35 companies; it grew to 75 companies in 2015 and this year it will host 100 companies.
The SBIR program provides U.S. federal funding to small businesses engaged in research and development with the potential for commercialization. Companies are rigorously vetted through the NIH and NSF SBIR review process prior to receiving the funding.
Today we spoke with Innovation Zone exhibitor, Robin Damschroder, CEO of MicroDevice Engineering, which is supported by NSF’s SBIR program.
BTN: What is your company’s lead product or technology?
Every 2 seconds someone in U.S. needs blood. Less than four percent of the population donates blood and 15-20% of blood collections are wasted. MicroDevice Engineering’s solution reduces blood product waste by coupling rapid and accurate blood typing with required anemia screening. The introduction of blood typing enables blood clinics to direct donations to automated collection to secure only the in-demand products and thereby reduce inventory waste.
BTN: How has the NSF SBIR program helped your company grow?
The NSF SBIR program has been critical to the development of our technology and we are seeking an NSF STTR Phase II award to assist us in completing our prototype. Having a completed prototype will enhance our ability to raise investor funds necessary to run laboratory trials, FDA approval and ultimately, our product launch.
BTN: What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?
Our near milestones include completing our prototype, preparing for our laboratory trials and identifying strategic partners — a contract manufacturer and a distribution partner.
BTN: What do you hope to gain out of your participation at the 2016 BIO International Convention?
We hope to network and make connections that might identify strategic distribution partners.