BOSTON, MA – Partners HealthCare today announced that it is launching a second round of Innovation Discovery Grants (IDG), with the goal of supporting the most promising early-stage ideas that can someday improve patient care. The grant initiative is open to all 64,000 Partners HealthCare employees and will fund a variety of prototyping, pre-clinical studies, software development and other approaches that can directly improve the way patient care is delivered.

“We are fortunate to have so many of the Boston-area’s brilliant leaders in science, medicine and other areas of health care within the Partners system,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Partners HealthCare. “This funding is aimed at making an even stronger connection between the innovative ideas within our health care system and Boston’s biotech and life sciences industry, which can bring those ideas to life.”

“The IDG program aligns perfectly with Partners’ vision of bringing discovery and innovation to the patient’s bedside,” said Chris Coburn, Vice President, Innovation at Partners HealthCare.  “It is an important tool among a number we are using to foster the spirit of innovation that permeates our organization and makes our mission possible.”

The program will provide 10 competitive grants of up to $100,000.  The chosen proposals will be those that have the potential to result in a device, a drug, a diagnostic, software or other patient care delivery enhancement.  The grants are available to all Partners faculty and employees. Winners are selected by the Partners Innovation Advisory Board and outside industry experts.

We are fortunate to have so many of the Boston-area’s brilliant leaders in science, medicine and other areas of health care within the Partners system. This funding is aimed at making an even stronger connection between the innovative ideas within our health care system and Boston’s biotech and life sciences industry, which can bring those ideas to life.

Anne Klibanski, MD Chief Academic Officer at Partners HealthCare

Last year, the program awarded $50,000 grants to 20 Partners employees, chosen from 350 applicants.  Examples of the last year’s winners include:

  • Jay Austen, MD, who developed a novel approach to improve vein grafts utilizing the chemical effects of light.
  • Samuel Patz, PhD, who developed a new methodology to measure lung density to reduce lung injury during ventilation.
  • Ali Tavokkoli, MD, who developed an intestinal coating that replicates the effects of gastric bypass surgery for type-2 diabetic patients.

“These grants, while relatively modest in terms of dollar amount, are important and unique as they allow for innovators to make major  scientific advances at a critical time early in the discovery process,” said Jay Austen, MD, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Without these grants many promising ideas could not possibly get developed as quickly for our patients.

Preliminary proposals for the latest round of innovation grants are due at 5 pm, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.