GRAND RAPIDS — Opened 18 months ago, Grand Valley State University’s Applied Medical Device Institute will help inventors develop and hone their ideas for medical innovations.
AMDI, as it’s commonly known, works with clients ranging from health systems, contract manufacturers, and individual entrepreneurs with ideas for new devices to assess and develop innovations. The institute provides engineering analysis, design, fabrication and testing services to clients developing new medical devices.
For example, AMDI played a key role in the development of the S2T Surgical Smart Trainer for Encoris. (See related story on page 8.)
A non-academic unit of GVSU’s Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, AMDI offers the expertise and skills of university faculty and graduate students to work on projects and brings together the “appropriate level of intellectual capital” for clients, said founding Executive Director Brent Nowak.
“What we do is provide solutions,” Nowak told MiBiz. “We can help connect people. We put the right people (and) the right team together to answer the right question.”
Nowak is a former industry executive who’s worked for more than 20 years in medical device and technology innovation.
The nonprofit AMDI is not a business incubator or accelerator, and is supported financially by fees charged to clients for the cost of services provided.
Working at “the pace of industry,” the institute has been involved in a dozen and a half projects for clients that range from the Encoris surgical trainer and cardiovascular devices to the sterilization and packaging of medical devices and machines, Nowak said.
A project listed on AMDI’s website is for a female urinary collection device that reduces urinary tract infections. Conceived by an ICU nurse at Spectrum Health, the idea was brought to AMDI by Spectrum Health Innovations, which asked the institute to look at whether the device’s design could be manufactured and determine if it had business viability.
In addition to the services provided to clients, AMDI offers “huge and interesting” opportunities for GVSU faculty and graduate students to become involved in research projects and product development from the private sector.
“It’s a great marriage between academia and industry,” Nowak said.