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Innovation Studio to spur creative ideas on health care solutions

The College of Nursing houses a movable innovation studio to solve health care issues at the ground floor of Thompson Library. Credit: Xiaohan Wu | Lantern Reporter

A movable “maker space” that houses prototyping tools and space for workshops will travel to Thompson Library’s ground floor near the Buckeye Bar on Monday.

Based on the concept of spurring new ideas by gathering students and faculty with great knowledge and skills across the community, the Innovation Studio shines a spotlight on health care solutions by hosting interdisciplinary workshops and providing prototyping tools for developing projects.

Laurel Van Dromme, chief of strategic partnerships, said idea contributors with top performances will gain an opportunity to turn their ideas into commercial reality with funding from Ohio State.

Tim Raderstorf, chief innovation officer at the College of Nursing, said ideas presented at the Innovation Studio in the past have gone on to commercial success.

“We’ve had a nursing student and a design student write a children’s book that you can purchase on Amazon,” Raderstorf said. “It’s about good bacteria in your digestive system and why eating fruits and vegetables help make them stronger and help you be healthier and happier.”

Not limited to medical theories, ideas incubated by students aim to benefit mankind in a variety of ways.

Raderstorf said another nursing student designed a program to detox drug addicts in a hospital setting that “has been licensed by the international distributor.”

The Innovation Studio teams up students with similar interests and assigns each group experienced mentors while providing 3D printers, laser cutters and hand tools for conducting trials.

Entry submissions to the Innovation Studio can range from a set of psychotherapy tools to brand-new surgical instruments.

“The easiest way to start your innovation tour is actually just to come to the physical space [with your ideas],” Raderstorf said.

Although the studio helps reach out to comprehensive services, there is still a long way to go before the commercial value of projects can be realized.

“In reality, it’s incredibly challenging,” Raderstorf said. “People who end up doing it are typically people who are engaged in the process and often there are people who have had one due to learning opportunities of what that process looks like before they find success.”

Van Dromme said another concern is the overall expenses of developing ideas would likely exceed their budgets. The Innovation Studio has overcome this due to two College of Nursing alumni donating a significant amount of money to the Innovation Studio, Van Dromme said, which will take out a part of the contribution to support students.

“We also have our technology commercialization office to hopefully get them a little more structure when they are ready to go down a commercial path,” Raderstorf said. “We also encourage them to seek out other resources that could help them further their entrepreneurial goals.”

While challenged with commercialization, the studio prioritizes potential health solutions, collaboration engagement and practical experience for future employment, rather than business profits.

Raderstorf said the Innovation Studio’s baselines are the number of teams and relationships that are established from cross-disciplinary partnerships.

“We are excited to be in the library, and I think it’s a great place for where students from all over the campus come and spend two hours a day,” Van Dromme said. “I hope they walk out to new ideas for people who didn’t know about it before on Monday.”

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