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​Innovation Studio helps bring health care ideas to reality

Movable maker space travels across campus, developing ideas

In the main lobby of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute on the campus of The Ohio State University, a workshop is open for business to help bring good ideas to life.

It’s called the Innovation Studio and the idea behind it is using collaboration to find solutions to health care problems. The Innovation Studio is the brainchild of Tim Raderstorf, chief innovation officer for the College of Nursing.

“We wanted to be the starting line for people. We wanted to be the go-to place where you get your ideas off the ground,” he said.

The studio looks like a portable high-school shop class: There are 3D printers, laser cutters and hand tools. Would-be inventors can also get help in product design and pitch development.

The studio can be set up in a day and it’s always on the move. Raderstorf opened the studio this week at the James and it will remain in the lobby until the end of July. Future stops include the College of Nursing and Thompson Library.Tim Raderstorf

“We are excited to have the Innovation Studio back in the lobby at the James. We are continually on the lookout for innovative ideas and creative ways to improve patient care,” said Kris Kipp, executive director of patient services and chief nursing officer at The James. “Our faculty and staff are wonderful resources for these ideas, and the Innovation Studio is a great partner in helping to make ideas become realities.”

said problem solvers need three things to bring ideas into reality.

“The first is the permission to innovate and that’s what the Innovation Studio provides. It’s the physical space that allows people to come in and do work and innovate and collaborate across boundaries,” he said.

Independent validation and funding are also critical. The Innovation Studio provides both.

Project teams are eligible to enter competitions in which top performers receive funding to continue to develop their invention or idea. As the ideas progress, the Innovation Studio can provide more funding. A donation from College of Nursing alumna Connie Hahn Sharpe and her husband, Gary, supports the studio.

Melissa Driscoll, a research nurse in the College of Medicine, turned to the Innovation Studio to get an invention off the ground. Driscoll worked with research scientist Surya Gnyawali to develop a new cart to support the imaging equipment critical to their work.

“It was really awesome, just knowing that there is a team of people out there that can help you develop your ideas and help you create your ideas,” Driscoll said. “We were considered the inventors but they were helping us to better establish what we had and how to use it bedside.”

Previously successful projects have ranged from software to improve the productivity of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to adaptive rock climbing harnesses for people who are paraplegic and quadriplegic, Raderstorf said.

“It’s kind of been all across the board but as long as it improves the health and well-being of the world, then it’s something that we’re interested in.”