Bioengineering and Translational Technologies

Bioengineering research makes its way into clinical care through technology translation. The central role of Stanford University in the creation of Silicon Valley– helping to launch companies like Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics, SUN, Yahoo and Google– is well known. A similar story of cooperation between Stanford and industry is underway in the biomedical technology sector. Within a 50-mile radius of the Stanford campus there are over 600 medical and biotechnology companies, which range from start-ups to some of the titans in the industry. Last year, $2.1 billion of venture capital was invested in California life sciences, most of which went to companies in Northern California. Many companies in the region have deep Stanford roots, including some of the larger biotech and med tech corporations (for example, Affymetrix, Genentech, Guidant, Medtronic Vascular and Nellcor).

Among the sub-disciplines in Bioengineering, Biodesign has specifically focused on building resources to support invention and technology transfer in the biomedical technology area. The Stanford Biodesign Program provides faculty and students access to over 1500 professionals in health care technology, along with patenting, prototyping, regulatory and other resources. Biodesign and the Office of Technology Licensing have partnered to develop a technology assessment program in which outside experts from the med tech and venture industry help evaluate and market new inventions. This activity has resulted in a significant increase in patenting and licensing activity by faculty members in the med tech sector, with 50 major med tech licenses executed in the last ten years. Biodesign has also developed a fellowship program and several course sequences for young med tech inventors. Within the last ten years, the fellowship and courses have led to the filing of multiple patents, the creation of 12 venture-backed start-ups by fellows and students and several licenses to existing companies. In total, over 150 industry leaders regularly participate in courses and other Biodesign events.

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