GCMI Opens Medical Device Prototyping and Development Facility

The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) officially opened its doors on April 18, 2012, attracting a large crowd eager to see the Southeast's first comprehensive medical device innovation center.

"GCMI has built and equipped a prototyping design and development facility that will accelerate the commercialization of next-generation medical devices and technology," said GCMI's Executive Director, H. Wayne Hodges. "The Center has the equipment, clean room facilities, engineering expertise and partner network needed to help bring ideas from concept to market."

Matt S. Erskine flew in from Washington, D.C., to speak at the opening. Erskine is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Erskine said that the EDA frequently cites GCMI as an example of the type of successful public/private partnership that generates jobs and a strong return on investment. "We believe GCMI will help Atlanta and the entire Southeast accelerate development of the next generation of medical devices," Erskine said.

"We have had to rethink economic development," he continued. "There is a new economic reality, and communities can't thrive by returning to the status quo. We have to find new ways to create jobs, and that growth is coming from entrepreneurs. We have found that supporting regional resources like GCMI offers the best return on investment by driving innovation and increasing exports."

GCMI General Manager Doug Schumer, Ph.D. praised GCMI's role in accelerating medical device commercialization, adding, "To me, the greatest thing GCMI will do is to help bring to life devices that otherwise might never see the light of day. There are many doctors out there with good ideas, but who don't know how to bring that idea to commercial fruition. GCMI will be able to help."

The center brings together core members of the medical device community, including universities, research centers, clinicians, established device and drug companies, investors, and early-stage companies, with the goal of accelerating the commercialization of innovative medical technology.

The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) is an independent, not-for-profit, full-service product development organization -- the first and only one of its kind in the Southeast. The center helps new-product teams enhance their product development, shorten time to market, and achieve significant cost savings throughout the process. GCMI was one of six winners of a national i6 Challenge focused on driving commercialization and innovation in the U.S. in an effort to move great ideas from the lab to the patient, creating jobs and economic growth. Founding partners are the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Research Alliance, Piedmont Healthcare and Saint Joseph's Translational Research Institute.

For more information, visit: www.devices.net

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