Innovation is the key to all advancements in modern medicine. The Innovation Center bridges the gap between new ideas and clinical practice by recruiting biotech solutions from physicians, nurses, and researchers within our system and across the globe. Our process begins with innovative ideas and research drawn from our teammates and collaborators. The most promising technologies are then selected for further development to transform them into products and businesses. The next phase is developing and integrating promising ideas into everyday clinical practice.
1. You Submit Your Idea
Complete an Idea Submission form and submit it to the Innovation Center electronically. It’s okay if your concept is not fully
developed. Submit as much information as you can and we’ll offer feedback.
It is always a good idea to talk with us about evaluating your idea before sharing it with others, including at conferences or seminars. In many cases, public disclosure may undermine the ability to get a patent.
Submit your idea.
2. Preliminary Evaluation
After you submit your idea, our team will review the submission and determine if it fits with the capability of the Innovation Center.
If the idea is a potential fit, then our team will contact you about completing an invention disclosure, and will schedule a meeting to discuss the idea in more detail. Typical timing occurs within 30 days.
3. Additional Information
At our first meeting, we will discuss your idea and work with you to clarify or complete any portions of the invention disclosure you need
Often, we will request additional information to facilitate our review.
4. Detailed Evaluation
Your invention will be assessed for commercial viability. The Innovation Center staff will evaluate your invention from the
perspective of its technology, product and market opportunity, patentability, regulatory path, competition and research direction.
Inventions that have clinical and technical merit are evaluated by our team. In some cases we may consult with
qualified professionals to assist in our assessment.
5. We Contact You
If the idea is selected for further development, the team will contact you to discuss financial and legal terms for
In many cases this will involve development and execution of a plan for the
commercialization of the invention. We may utilize strategic partnerships to generate interest
and gather relevant feedback from potential licensees.
As the development plan evolves, we will evaluate the capacity to implement the plan before proceeding. If we determine at any
point that the Center is not a suitable collaboration partner to implement the plan, we’ll share our findings with you so that you can pursue alternative pathways.
If your project is selected, we will work with you to reach a specific agreement on a proposed collaboration and execute the
Execution of the plan involves not only performing the steps that are defined at the beginning of our process, but also refining the details as we gain additional information.
What is Innovation?
We define “innovation” as the process of implementing new ideas to create value for an organization. This may mean creating a new service, product, or process or enhancing existing ones. Innovation can also take the form of discontinuing an inefficient or out-of-date service, system or process. Our innovation efforts are focused on improving patient care.
The Innovation Center focus areas include:
- Commercialization of new devices or methods created by employees/collaborators/peers
- Serving as an entry portal for small startups to access and navigate the broader healthcare system
- Consulting with departments in the organization to help discover new approaches to solving difficult problems
- Creating a culture of innovation across the whole organization
Our projects come to us through four channels:
- Ideas submitted by Roper St. Francis doctors, nurses and teammates
- Innovation Center outreach – connect with Roper St. Francis doctors, nurses and teammates
- Ideas submitted by collaborators/partners
- Collaboration on mature projects with external sources
As part of our outreach program, our center’s Idea Extractor meets regularly with Roper St. Francis medical professionals to discuss and identify needs they glean from working with patients. Our goal is to give doctors and staff tools to help them become creators of new technology as well as users of it. The Innovation Center also evaluates ideas and promising research that could be turned into viable businesses, including seeking seed funds to cover prototypes and other start-up expenses.
Innovation Center Team
Andrea H. Marshall, JD is the director of the Innovation Center at Roper St. Francis. Prior to joining the system, Ms. Marshall served as executive administrator of Charleston Angel Partners LLC, South Carolina’s oldest and most profitable organized angel investment group. In the role, she managed all aspects of diligence and investment for several significant investments in the biotech sector. During that time, she also served as the MUSC nominee to the board of directors of SCLaunch, an economic development agency which supports South Carolina's Knowledge Economy. Ms. Marshall is an attorney in the area of corporate law, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to her move to SC, she practiced law with Holland & Knight LLP in New York City, one of the nation’s largest law firms. Ms. Marshall received her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M.
Krista Herndon is the idea extractor / project manager. In this role, she reviews innovation projects from a variety of sources, including an Innovation Outreach Program designed to scout projects that originate from within the Roper St. Francis system. She also works on selected collaborations with outside inventors to identify promising technology development opportunities to improve patient care. She brings a background from the commercial sector developing and manufacturing medical devices for C.R. Bard, Inc, as well as experience with the defense industry with Force Protection Industries, a global leader in ballistic protected armored vehicles and survivability solutions. Ms. Herndon received her master’s degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University and her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of Charleston. She is also a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.