Medventions Internship 

The Medventions Internship program is a four-month, full-time experiential training framework for the development/creation of medical device innovations through identifying and validating unmet clinical needs.

Expected outcomes
At the end of the term, the project team will:

  • Identify an unmet clinical need with high potential for commercial success;
  • Engineer an early proof-of-concept level solution to the need;
  • Begin to build a business case for solving the demand. 

Funding and support

  • Up to $60,000 in team project funding, including funding for trainee stipends.
  • Professional development programming to rapidly upskill trainees on early-stage Biodesign and commercialization.
  • Mentorship from Expert Advisors and access to equipped Life Sciences laboratory space in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

Eligibility
Researchers, clinicians, postdocs, graduate and senior undergraduate students with technical backgrounds in life sciences, engineering, business, or healthcare with a focus on healthcare technology, innovation, and commercialization are encouraged to apply.

Candidates must be:

  • Legally eligible to work in Canada;
  • Able to participate full-time for the four-month term of the internship;
  • Reside in Calgary during the internship.

 

Potential clinical focus areas:
Oncology          Orthopedics         Cardiology         Neurology         Pediatrics

 

Selection
A team of four interns are selected from a competitive application based on technical background, expertise, and entrepreneurial experience.

 

For more information, contact Jane Desrochers at jdesrochers@innovatecalgary.com.

Program planning for the next cohort is underway. Check back often as program details emerge.

*As COVID-19 evolves, access to clinical areas may be restricted. Please check back as new details emerge.

The Medventions Internship program is made possible in part through the support from the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Interns are supported through the Strategic Innovation Fund award from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. 

 

POPULAR QUESTIONS

Who should apply to the Medventions Internship program?

Researchers, clinicians, postdocs, graduate and senior students with technical backgrounds in science, engineering, business or healthcare with an interest in healthcare technology innovaton and commercialization.

Candidates must:

  • Be legally eligible to work in Canada;
  • Participate full-time in the Internship for the duration of the four-month term
    • i.e., graduate students are expected to put their research and teaching obligations on hold;
    • Reside in Calgary during the internship;
    • Satisfy Alberta Health Services (AHS) requirements for clincial placement, including;
      • Criminal records check
      • Vaccination requirements (enquire for details);
  • Applicants will be recruited individually to form one team (4 team members). Applicants do not require a pre-formed team;
  • Affiliation with the University of Calgary
Can I get a course credit for this program?

The Internship intends to provide experiential learning for trainees. Graduate students may apply to transformative talent internships, which offer additional funding and academic credit for the internship noted on transcripts.

Explore more about UCalgary's Transformative Talent Internship opportunities here.

Who are the Expert Advisors?

The Medventions team will have access to consulting and mentorship from an extensive network of Expert Advisors with broad business experience and connections within the life sciences sector. Their expertise includes regulatory, finance, marketing, governance, business strategy, communications, and more. Explore our roster

What will the team do during the Internship?

The Medventions internship team will collaborate full-time during the program to identify and validate a compelling clinical need for which a technical solution can be developed.

Key activities include:  

  • Perform clinical observations alongside health care workers in a clinical setting;
  • Identify and document challenges and pain-points in the clinical workflow that impose a significant burden;
  • Conduct background research and build a preliminary business case for a subset of identified problems, e.g.; research on disease state fundamentals and current treatment state of the art analyses; stakeholder and market analyses; intellectual property landscape for an identified high-potential unmet need;
  • Develop a proof of concept solution.

 

 

When is the next intake?

Program planning for the next cohort is underway! Check back often as program details emerge.

* We are continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation. If the risk to trainees, staff, and patients is deemed too high, access to certain clinical regions may be restricted for nonessential personnel (including trainees). In this case, the program’s timeline may be adjusted, or alternative clinical areas may be identified.

What do the Professional Development workshops cover?

The internship includes a series of Professional Development workshops to provide an experiential learning framework and high-level business training to upskill trainees in several key areas. 

What is the time commitment for clinicians?

The clinical shadowing portion of the program occurs during the first 4 – 6 weeks. During this time, Fellows spend their time building an understanding of clinical workflow and challenges. Here, the program aims to provide approximately 40 hours of direct clinical exposure - additionally, clinicians may wish to provide background reading or to debrief trainees before/after specific procedures. For the subset of ideas that move into more in-depth analyses, some clinicians may participate in additional brainstorming sessions, follow-on observations of similar cases, etc. For the unmet clinical need that moves towards further development, clinicians will ideally become an integral part of the project team as they proceed beyond the Medventions program.

What resources can I access for solution deployment?

The Medventions Internship team will have access to desk, work and storage space at the Life Sciences Innovation (LSI) Hub.

Available prototyping equipment, as well as other details about the LSI Hub are listed here.

Additional maker spaces throughout the University of Calgary are also available and can be accessed as needed.

Do I need to come with a project idea?

No! Central to the program is the clinical immersion opportunity where Medventions trainees partner with physicians, nurses and other healthcare personnel to identify challenges in the clinic derived from direct observation and experience.

Neither clinicians, nor students need to have preformed ideas about design opportunities; in fact, participants are strongly encouraged to come with a wide-open mind to the problem sets that originate directly from the shadowing experience.

If you are already working on an idea, there are various programs to support  UCalgary students and staff to move their idea forward. Check out UCalgary's innovation ecosystem at Innovation@UCalgary

 

What are the program objectives?

To provide a structured, experiential training framework for medical device innovation with a strong focus on clinical needs identification and validation.

Key outcomes include:

  • Idenfication of an umet clinical need with high potential for commercial success;
  • Develop a business case for solving the need, including;
    • Customer discovery;
    • Early competitive market analysis;
    • Intellectual property landscaping
  • Engineer an early proof-of-concept solution to the need.
What is the time commitment for participating Fellows?

The program is an intense, full-time experience and interns are expected to be flexible to accommodate the schedules of clinicians and other experts who so generously provide their time and expertise to this program. Off-hours programming is most intense during the clinical shadowing phase at the beginning of the program. During this period, interns may need to commit to more hours, either earlier in the mornings or during the evening to attend teaching rounds, relevant seminars or hands-on workshops, brainstorming sessions with clinical partners, or observations of clinical workflow and emergency cases with an on-call clinician.  

Interns are expected to attend all Medventions programming. All reasonable efforts will be made to schedule seminars, workshops, etc. during regular business hours; however, subject matter experts have hectic schedules and individual high caliber speakers may only be available during off-hours. In turn, flexibility is embedded into the internship at specific points to support a reasonable work/life balance. It is up to the team to equitably distribute project workload.

What does the Medventions Internship include?

The program includes:

  • $60,000 in program funding, allocated towards:
    • Four months of training stipends for the team of 4 interns
    • Project expenses (e.g., prototyping costs, materials, and supplies)
  • A four-month membership at the Life Sciences Innovation Hub. This membership includes access to lab and desk space, professional development workshops, and expert advisor mentorship.
Does Innovate Calgary take equity in Medventions innovations?

Participation in the Medventions program does not require the transfer of any equity, royalty, or repayment obligations to Innovate Calgary or the University of Calgary. However, it is common to transfer intellectual property into the startup company. Intellectual property that originates at the University of Calgary must adhere to revenue sharing obligations as stated in the University of Calgary’s Intellectual Property Policy.

Media Maker profiled the Medventions program where UCalgary Graduate Student, Alejandro Gutierrez, took second place in the Innovation Untold media competition.

Follow their innovation journey.

Media Maker profiled the Medventions program where UCalgary Graduate Student, Alejandro Gutierrez, took second place in the Innovation Untold media competition.

Follow their innovation journey.

Media Maker profiled the Medventions program where UCalgary Graduate Student, Alejandro Gutierrez, took second place in the Innovation Untold media competition.

Follow their innovation journey.