Ambitious initiative aims to excite and incentivize researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, and the industry to innovate new and inventive approaches to combat diabetes at the inaugural Diabetes Innovation Challenge
Boston, MA – June 1, 2016 – T1D Exchange, an organization that is accelerating research to improve outcomes in type 1 diabetes, and M2D2, a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses that incubates medical device start-ups, opened the Request for Applications for its first annual Diabetes Innovation Challenge. The collaborative objective of T1D Exchange and M2D2 is for the open competition to identify and accelerate transformational advancements in diabetes research and care.
The Diabetes Innovation Challenge was conceived to provide a comprehensive approach to support the development of novel therapies and solutions for all aspects of diabetes research, clinical care, and patient quality of life. Selected finalists will receive cash and valuable in-kind mentoring and development services provided by T1D Exchange and M2D2, and is supported by industry sponsors, including lead sponsor JDRF, the leading global organization funding
type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
“Accelerating the path to better outcomes is at the core of what T1D Exchange seeks to accomplish. The objective of the Diabetes Innovation Challenge is to provide a forum where novel, disruptive, and promising innovations can be presented, critiqued, and ultimately championed by a well-rounded community of experts,” said Dana Ball, executive director of T1D Exchange. “We have created this Challenge to help identify a new generation of entrepreneurs and advance opportunities to the next stage of development, with an ultimate goal of faster translation and delivery to patients.”
Because the Challenge seeks transformational innovations in diabetes; it is open to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes opportunities as products developed for one disease may have cross-utility for the other. The Diabetes Innovation Challenge is open to all academic and for-profit inventors, innovators, and companies developing or seeking to develop medical device, diagnostics, therapeutics, digital health technologies, and clinical care improvements in diabetes.
The goal of the Challenge is to identify the most promising innovations in diabetes, and present them to T1D Exchange’s community of funders, investors, and partners from academia and industry at a summit-style gathering focused on next-generation opportunities in diabetes. T1D Exchange is seeking projects and proposals in the following categories:
- Devices – such as novel glucose sensing, insulin delivery, cellular therapy delivery technologies
- Diagnostics – such as novel low costs tests for research and screening: early diagnosis – prevention; autoantibodies, C-peptide or other markers such as beta cell death and risk of diabetic complications
- Therapeutics – such as smart insulins, glucagons, immune modulating, beta cell regeneration
- Technologies – such as and disruptive approaches to use of information on and communication technologies to support diabetes management, range of hardware and software applications (patient or clinician), decision support, algorithms, and mobile applications
The program will consist of two tracks: early stage projects (up to and including pre-clinical) and translation projects (Clinical Phase I-III). All Diabetes Innovation Challenge qualified applicants will be invited to present at one of two University of Massachusetts campuses:
- pre-clinical opportunities will be presented at UMass Worcester on September 29
- translational opportunities will be presented at UMass Lowell on October 5
The two events will be co-promoted by T1D Exchange and M2D2 to investor, industry, foundation, and academic partners to provide all applicants an audience to showcase innovative ideas.
From the two initial events, a pool of finalists will be chosen to present at a special T1D Exchange showcase event on October 20 at the Royal Sonesta, Boston in front of an esteemed panel of judges and others. Two awardees will be announced during the T1D Exchange Annual Meeting on Friday, October 21. This meeting convenes select professionals from the investment, industry, academic, and foundation communities.
“Our new partnership with T1D Exchange on the Diabetes Innovation Challenge will enable M2D2 to further its mission. We remain committed to bringing life-saving products and services to the marketplace and assisting start-ups we believe will grow into ventures that will help power the innovation economy in Massachusetts and beyond,” said Stephen McCarthy, M2D2 co-director and UMass Lowell professor of plastics engineering.
The T1D Exchange Diabetes Innovation Challenge will provide up to two awards of up to $150,000 in cash or services provided by program sponsors for diabetes solutions.
In addition to services and cash prizes, the Awardees will feature their opportunity at the T1D Exchange’s 2016 Innovations in Care annual meeting held on October 21. The Innovation in Care event attracts more than 175 individuals from industry, foundation, investment, academia, and research organizations from around the world.
The call for papers will be open until July 11, 2016
About T1D Exchange
T1D Exchange is a program of Unitio which brings together all the communities invested in working toward improved treatment and a better, faster path to a cure of type 1 diabetes. Researchers, healthcare professionals, industry, patients, families and supporters all contribute experience, knowledge and perspective through a variety of integrated platforms, including a Clinic Network, Clinic Registry, Biobank and the online patient/caregiving community, Glu. T1D Exchange offers researchers access to clinical, biological, patient-reported outcomes, and electronic health data while fostering collaboration among stakeholders. The result is more informed and better clinical care that will serve unmet patient needs, speed the research process, and ultimately improve the daily lives of everyone affected by T1D.
M2D2, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, is a joint initiative of the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the UMass system. Its aim is to help new biotech and medical device entrepreneurs develop products every step of the way, from proof-of-concept to commercialization. Affiliated faculty and staff have assisted more than 100 start-up companies and entrepreneurs since the program kicked off in the spring of 2007.