RAPS Salon Highlights Region’s Tech Hub University Leaders

The August 23 Regional Autonomous Patient Safety (RAPS) Research and Development Salon convened innovators, researchers, and technology entrepreneurs from across the Pittsburgh region to highlight regional research initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and to brief participants on the region's recently submitted USDA Tech Hub application.

Michael Holland, PhD, the University of Pittsburgh's Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Research Strategies, presented the regional efforts to advance precision public health, an approach that uses big data analytics to identify the right solution in the right community at the right time.

Theresa Mayer, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University's Vice President for Research, commented on the region's robust research an innovation ecosystem to support the translational activities in addition to foundational R&D. This includes CMU's deep and growing partnerships with the University of Pittsburgh, medical centers, and other academic and industry collaborators. She added how it is an exciting time to be in Pittsburgh as the region is experiencing significant growth in the high-tech sector and is positioned to become a national leader. Dr. Mayer also reviewed CMU's diverse portfolio of research funding, which includes a recent increase in NIH funded. Examples of CMU's patient safety-related research includes the NSF-funded AI Institute for Societal Decision Making, the NIH-funded research on clinical decision support tools using AI and human factors, the CDC-funded Delphi National Center for Excellence for Epidemic Forecasting, and CMU's Center for Innovation in Health. She also discussed how CMU is making significant investments in automated science.

Kinsey Casey, the University of Pittsburgh's Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development in Health Sciences, briefed Salon participants on the region's application to become a U.S. Economic Development Administration-designated Tech Hub. The application focuses on the region's potential to advance biotech manufacturing. If Pittsburgh's application is approved, Phase II of the application process will take place this fall. She thanked both Dr. Mayer and Dr. Holland for their support in compiling the tech hub application.

Attendees were also reminded that the RAPS Seed Grant Request for Proposal is due by October 16. The RAPS Seed Grant Program is designed to support multidisciplinary R&D teams, start-ups, tech companies, and healthcare organizations in the Pittsburgh region that are in the early stages of developing, testing, or adopting an autonomous solution to prevent medical errors. Grants up to $50,000 are available. Application details are available here.

The next RAPS R&D salons are scheduled for 12-1 p.m. on October 11 and December 6. Register for either of those meetings here. 

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