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Austen BioInnovation Institute, Nottingham Spirk Announce Commercialization Partnership

- Relationship to accelerate biomedical innovation in Ohio

CLEVELAND, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) and Nottingham Spirk, a national innovation firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, announced today a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation and commercialization of biomedical devices and products.  The partnership joins two of Northeast Ohio's most prominent centers of innovation and creates a team capable of attracting national and international healthcare organizations seeking to develop new products that quickly reach the U.S. market.

Nottingham Spirk has developed hundreds of patented products that have generated more than $45 billion in sales for industry leading businesses and fast-growth entrepreneurial firms. ABIA's innovation model has been honored by the U.S. Commerce Department, National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as one of the nation's best approaches to technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

"I see a great potential for synergy between our two organizations, leveraging our individual capabilities to ultimately create great products that make a substantial impact on patient care and its delivery," said John Spirk, co-founder of Nottingham Spirk. "Together, we can enhance business competitiveness, quality, cost-effectiveness, and productivity, while expanding offerings to new markets."

ABIA recently announced a renewed emphasis on healthcare innovation and commercialization designed to bolster Northeast Ohio's economy and enhance its reputation as a region for patient-centered innovation.

"This partnership extends ABIA's abilities to accelerate biomedical innovation," said Dr. Frank L. Douglas, ABIA President and CEO. "We are excited at the potential of partnering with Nottingham Spirk, which has an international reputation for design excellence. Our nationally recognized process for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship teamed with Nottingham Spirk's world-class business innovation leadership creates a powerful alliance that will bring new medical ideas to market."

Nottingham Spirk helped develop one of the first magnetic resonance imaging scanners with patient comfort in mind. The firm built on that experience to create a new generation of design in MRI technology.  The firm's open innovation approach facilitates product design that appeals to the U.S. market.

ABIA provides a team of medical device, regulatory and biomaterials experts that will help test the usability of Nottingham Spirk-designed products, and then help those products navigate the federal approval process.  ABIA provides access to physicians, healthcare professionals and patients to bolster consumer research initiatives. Additionally, its 30,000-square-foot medical simulation center – featuring nine surgical bays, a configurable mock hospital and patient exam rooms – allows new products to be tested in an environment that mimics real-world conditions.

"We formed this partnership in the joint belief that biomedical innovation will improve healthcare across the country and enhance the region's reputation for entrepreneurial energy," said Vikki Nowak, Nottingham Spirk's Vice President. "Innovation builds upon itself. We see a bright future for biomedical innovation with ABIA, and within the entire Northeast Ohio region."

About Nottingham Spirk
Cleveland-based Nottingham Spirk is the pragmatic inventor of wildly successful new businesses including: Spinbrush, Swiffer SweeperVac, Sherwin Williams Twist & Pour, and HealthSpot—the first telemedicine kiosk. Launched 42 years ago, Nottingham Spirk has developed nearly 1,000 commercialized patents that have generated $45 billion dollars in new revenue for industry leaders as well as fast-growth entrepreneurial firms.  Vertically integrated to seamlessly deliver solutions to real end-user problems, Nottingham Spirk's repurposed landmark building inspires associates and clients with its 60,000 square feet of extensive research, design, engineering, prototyping, and testing facilities. For inspiring stories about products people love to buy, visit

About Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) – an exceptional collaboration of Akron Children's Hospital, FirstEnergy, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Summa Health System, and The University of Akron – brings innovative minds together to create economic and personal vitality by inspiring patient-centered discovery and invention. The ABIA partnership accelerates the time from idea to commercialization of new technologies and solutions by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the biomedical product and polymer science industries. ABIA works to secure Ohio's economic future through its patient-centered product innovation, cutting edge workforce training and inclusionary approach to community health improvement. For more information about ABIA, please visit

Contact: Scott Rainone
[email protected]

SOURCE Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

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