More than 150 leaders in Akron, Ohio celebrated the grand opening of the Austen BioInnovation Institute’s new $13.3 million headquarters and Center for Simulation and Integrated Healthcare and Education. The institute is a partnership of Akron Children’s, Summa, and Akron General hospitals and the University of Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University, with support from Knight Foundation. Dr. W. Gerald Austen, Knight’s former board chairman of 14 years and an Akron native for whom the institute was named, attended.
The center will allow doctors to simulate complex operations and procedures and for innovators to create medical device prototypes. It is the largest simulation center in the country. “At the end of the day, we want to be contributing to jobs, spinning out companies and reducing the burden of disease,” said Dr. Frank L. Douglas, the BioInnovation Institute’s president and chief executive.
To date, the institute has contributed to the creation of more than 300 jobs and the creation of six companies, including four launched through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, and led community health initiative that brings more than 60 diverse Akron & Summit County organizations together to focus on combating chronic diseases while empowering patients and reducing costs.