Dr. Pat Atkinson’s KEEN Topical Grant Award

Thanks to funding from a KEEN-Entrepreneurship grant, Kettering students will now be imagining the medical wizardry of tomorrow. These medical futurists are pursuing a Bioengineering Concentration in the Mechanical Engineering Department. The first course in the concentration is Professor Atkinson’s Bioengineering Applications Course. In this course, the students will capitalize on their passions and interests in Medicine based on their experience with health problems to themselves or a family member of friend.  They will take that raw energy and then work with a local physician and Dr Atkinson to identify gaps in today’s health care system.


To bring their idea to you (the patient), they need to learn how to build a successful business model.  They also need to satisfy a series of requirements that ensure that health products are safe.  This process can be challenging, expensive, and require a lot of time.  The Food and Drug Administration has many hurdles that must be overcome and investors need to be wooed.  But it all starts with a need, an idea, and an opportunity.  Bioengineering students will learn to identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ and how to exploit opportunities that combine markets or technologies in novel ways.  They will perform a patent survey, and draft patent art and claims to protect their Intellectual Property.

Venture capital will be raised from a pool of imaginary ‘capital’ from the physician.  He or she will view multimedia commercials the students will produce themselves.  The commercials are designed to establish the business model: what is the value proposition and who are the customers?  Preliminary commercials will be viewed by the physician who will then have an opportunity to meet the designs team and offer feedback and input.  The students will work to improve the idea and ensure their business is compliant with the regulatory guidelines for medical products.

At the end of the semester, final commercials will be viewed and the physician will ‘invest’ their capital into the different products based on their reaction to the product idea.  Dr Atkinson will review the patent and regulatory paperwork to ensure the business is properly positioned to be successful in the market place.