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GVSU receives grants to support high-tech projects

  • Grants from LDFA will support several projects at Grand Valley, including two that focus on developing medical devices.

Posted on January 09, 2018

Several Grand Valley initiatives were recently awarded grants from the Grand Rapids SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) to support student, faculty and staff projects that focus on the development of medical devices. 

The Applied Medical Devices Institute was awarded $680,000, which will allow students and staff members to work with two local technology companies to help create medical devices and ready them for manufacturing and sales. aMDI, housed in Grand Valley's Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences on Grand Rapids' Medical Mile, brings medical device ideas to life through research, design and development. The center is led by Brent Nowak, executive director. 

A collaboration among the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, Spectrum Health Innovations (SHI) and Kendall College of Art and Design received a three-year, $700,000 grant. Physicians and medical staff come to SHI with ideas and students are challenged with developing the ideas and building prototypes. The partnership began in 2011. 

Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, said the grants will allow Grand Valley to continue to make a contribution to the West Michigan community. 

"West Michigan is becoming a thriving hub for medical device design and development," Plotkowski said. "These programs have the potential to make a significant impact on patients' quality of life and enrich the economy of West Michigan, and they are excellent examples of the Laker Effect."

Future State, a project of which Grand Valley is a partner, also received support from LDFA. The project focuses on convening community organizations to develop sustainable business solutions through research, dialogue and innovation. Linda Chamberlain, Frederik Meijer Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said Grand Valley will provide subject-matter expertise, student engagement and leadership. Key partners of Future State are Fred Keller, Talent 2025 and Grand Valley.