Accelerating the translation of novel scientific advances into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools that improve patient care and public health.
The Midwest Biomedical Accelerator Consortium (MBArC) was established in 2019 as a 4-year, $3.9 million partnership between the University of Missouri, Columbia (lead)/ University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), Kansas City and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of MBArC is to provide funding, training, and education to academic researchers to accelerate the transition of discoveries originating from research labs into products that improve health. Promising translational technologies emerging out of the Hub will be ready for the next source of independent financing through viable start-up companies competitive for small business grants, private capital investment, or licensing opportunities.
To this collaboration, MU brings outstanding biomedical and bioengineering research programs and its vibrant track record of participation in the Coulter Translational Partnership Program. KUMC provides its exceptional biomedical research programs and Frontiers, its NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). In addition, each institution has existing partnerships that strengthen and extend the alliance — MU with the University of Missouri System universities in Kansas City (UMKC), St. Louis (UMSL), and Rolla (Missouri S&T), and KUMC with the Kansas Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) and the Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership Hub (SHARPhub).
The MBArC network will employ the following strategies to increase biomedical research commercialization:
- Leverage MBArC’s geographic and institutional scope to develop strategic partnerships that invite scientists to engage in technology transfer and commercialization,
- Give academicians the training and resources needed to validate the clinical and commercial feasibility of their innovations,
- Provide researchers with funding and mentorship to complete product definition studies and attract follow-on funding, and
- Offer experiential learning opportunities in biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship.
This initiative builds on existing programs to increase health-related business development, including small businesses, in Missouri, Kansas, and adjoining states. The MBArC Hub will promote commercialization of novel scientific discoveries, and establish a sustainable infrastructure to translate academic research into commercial products that prevent and treat high-burden diseases afflicting the US population.