MRC’s policies of inter-institutional collaboration give the State of Tennessee the opportunity to leverage the strengths of all its Memphis institutions. A program of strategic recruitment at the University of Memphis and the The University of Tennessee Health Science Center will take Memphis science to the next level—for the advancement of science, the prestige of the State of Tennessee, and economic development deriving from discovery and innovation. These recruitments will leverage the strengths of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the medical device industry.
The MRC plan:
In our first request to the state, MRC placed a special emphasis on Children’s Health and Biomedical Devices collaboration. Through the state’s support, the MRC partners focused on recruiting experienced, well-respected specialists to bring the full weight of the most advanced scientific tools to address our community health and medical device development needs. In fiscal years 2013 and 2014, the Memphis Research Consortium has been an exceptional steward of state funds. MRC limited its administrative overhead to the bare minimum and has taken the opportunity to incorporate the administrative and governance responsibilities of MCAN into MRC. This has allowed MRC to maximize use of the state grants to support idea generation, discovery and proof through scientific evaluation. While focused on building research, MRC has also expanded the visibility of the maturing innovation ecosystem to the research enterprise. This optimizes the economic impact of research on the state and strengthens our ability to attract the best research talent. In addition, MRC continues to make significant seed investments in initiatives that add value in each of the major focal areas, preparing the way for subsequent investment by the state of Tennessee.
Researchers at UTHSC and U of M have established a forum where they can join their corporate R&D colleagues to explore the constraints of competitiveness and IP concerns. This is a remarkable endeavor in that three competing corporations—Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, and Wright Medical Technologies—have made a special commitment to work together to build appropriate research relations with university researchers.