Oklahoma universities partner for virtual health commercialization program

Three Oklahoma universities have partnered with Tulsa Innovation Labs in announcing the launch of Canopy Healthtech, an initiative to push the commercialization of virtual health innovations.

Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma are in works developing virtual health technologies to help fill gaps in health care delivery with Tulsa Innovation Labs.

This program will help expand health care access to traditionally underserved populations like rural, indigenous and inner-city communities.

“Oklahoma innovators have developed technologies with the potential to positively impact human health via emerging virtual and hybrid in-person care models,” said Shawna Khouri, director of the Virtual Health portfolio at Tulsa Innovation Labs and architect of the Canopy Healthtech program. “To reach their potential, these technologies need business, regulatory and marketing expertise. Canopy will surround clinical and technical faculty members with the necessary funding as well as the expertise that’s critical to bridging these innovations from bench to business.”

The program is made up of three parts, PREP, FUND and COMMENCE:

1. Canopy PREP, a series of educational workshops on the commercialization pathway for virtual health technologies and curated conversations around pertinent clinical challenges and opportunities;

2. Canopy FUND, $400,000 for competitive non-dilutive awards to translate academic intellectual property at the seed and concept level into commercially viable virtual health technologies; and

3. Canopy COMMENCE, which offers exclusive access to industry experts and ecosystem assistance to accelerate the translational success of Canopy Fund awardees.

“Through the vision and leadership of OSU’s Center for Health System Innovation, OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub and the University of Tulsa — as well as the support of the George Kaiser Family Foundation — we will catalyze startup formation across the state,” Khouri said.

Executive Director Rachel Lane PH.D, R.D. will head the program.

“The funds and mentoring Canopy provides inventors will support startup formation from Oklahoma ideas. As these companies choose to stay and grow in Oklahoma — fortified by a supportive environment that Shawna Khouri, Tulsa Innovation Labs and the George Kaiser Family Foundation have built — we will gain a critical mass of business and workforce that uniquely differentiates and desirably distinguishes our industry with a competitive economic edge,” Lane said.

“We are excited to see where this new partnership will take us,” said Ron Van Der Busche, senior associate vice president for research at OSU. “OSU’s land grant mission means serving our communities in the state and Canopy will be a catalyst to move OSU virtual health technology into the real world.”

For more information on Tulsa Innovation Labs, click here. For more information on Canopy, click here.