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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Southern Research Institute


Birmingham, AL

Project Name

Alliance for Innovative Medical Technology Proof of Concept Center



Award Amount


The Alliance for Innovative Medical Technology (AIMTech) Proof of Concept Center is a regional initiative to accelerate medical device and medical technology development to a critical mass and establish the greater Birmingham region as an international center for medical device business formation. Centered on the established Alliance for Innovative Medical Technology collaboration between Southern Research and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the proof of concept center will expand the reach of AIMTech deeper into the clinical departments of UAB as well as provide outreach to clinicians and other medical innovators in the greater Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area. Program activities will focus on idea development, customer discovery, rapid prototyping and testing, and active intellectual property commercialization.

Southern Research and UAB formed AIMTech in 2014 to fill a gap in the greater Birmingham area due to the lack of a robust medical device community. Through AIMTech, regional leaders such as Southern Research, UAB, Innovation Depot, Children’s of Alabama, American Sports Medicine Institute, and St. Vincent’s Health System will work together with local economic development resources, such as the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and the Birmingham Business Alliance, to bring innovative medical ideas into the commercial market. The center streamlines and accelerates idea development of medical device solutions into commercial reality, with emphasis on customer discovery, market validation, and prototyping. With the Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge program funding, AIMTech Proof of Concept Center will be able to build upon and accelerate the momentum gained in its first two years by funding more opportunities to research and develop individual projects. Marketable solutions fostered by these projects will then be redirected through licensing opportunities back into the local community.

The vision for the proof of concept center is to ultimately be part of a regional medical device development system that can assist and enable medical device ideas to be brought from concept to clinic, involving investors, regional universities, startup companies and commercial partners.