Applications open through April 22 for innovations that address unmet pediatric needs
Recognizing the continued gap in the development and commercialization of medical devices for children versus adults, the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), in collaboration with MedTech Innovator, is accepting applications through April 22, 2022, for its annual “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” competition. Recognizing the wide range of unmet needs for diagnostic and therapeutic devices designed especially for children, this year’s competition is open to any innovation in medical technology that addresses a significant unmet need in pediatric medical care.
“As one of the five FDA Pediatric Device Consortia, NCC-PDI is focused on seeking out and addressing significant unmet needs in pediatric medical technology,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., M.B.A., P.M.P., vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Hospital and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. “While great advances are made in adult medical devices, children are often left behind because the pediatric market is small and there are not incentives to develop for pediatrics. This pitch competition helps to recognize and support the advancement of innovations that can specifically address the needs of pediatric patients.”
Using a virtual format, semi-finalists chosen from all submissions will make their first pitch on May 20, 2022. Up to six finalists selected from this first round will earn participation in a special pediatric-focused track of the MedTech Innovator accelerator program, the largest medical device accelerator in the world, beginning in June 2022. These innovators will then participate in the competition finals in the fall 2022 where judges will award up to $150,000 in FDA-sponsored grants to the devices selected as most impactful and commercially viable.
“Medical devices created for children face many unique hurdles on the commercialization journey. That’s why it is so important to provide support through MedTech Innovator’s accelerator program, where we offer up-and-coming innovators valuable mentoring and guidance from seasoned industry leaders,” says Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator. “Our program is designed to establish a strong foundation that propels innovators forward to the market where they can positively impact pediatric health.”
Unlike devices for adults, the development and commercialization of pediatric medical devices lags behind by approximately five to 10 years, Programs like the NCC-PDI pitch competition and MedTech Innovator accelerator program offer innovators access to expert insight and consultation to help overcome regulatory hurdles and advance the product’s development path.
“For years, doctors have been challenged by the lack of innovation in the pediatric space. Advancing technologies that address the unique developmental needs of children is essential to advancing pediatric health,” says William E. Bentley, Ph.D., Robert E. Fischell distinguished professor and director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices at the University of Maryland. “We look forward to welcoming viable innovations to this year’s competition, and to helping entrepreneurs take this important next step on the pathway to commercialization.”
NCC-PDI is one of five members in the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia Grant Program created to support the development and commercialization of medical devices for children. NCC-PDI is led by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland with support from partners MedTech Innovator, BioHealth Innovation and design firm Archimedic.
Eskandanian adds that supporting the progress of pediatric innovators is a key focus of the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus, a one-of-its-kind ecosystem that drives discoveries that save and improve the lives of children. On a nearly 12-acre portion of the former, historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington, D.C., Children’s National has combined its strengths with those of public and private partners, including industry, universities, federal agencies, start-up companies and academic medical centers. The campus provides a rich environment of public and private partners which, like the NCC-PDI network, will help bolster pediatric innovation and commercialization.
For more information and to apply for the upcoming NCC-PDI pitch competition, visit the MedTech Innovator website.