Pitt Innovation Challenge  
Join Pinch


The Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh) competition is designed to generate innovative solutions to challenging health problems. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh created the PInCh competition in order to stimulate innovation in a fresh exciting way. The CTSI is an integral part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded nationwide network whose charge is to speed new treatments to the people who need them. CTSI provides the support necessary to bridge the gap between innovative approaches to research and effective clinical and public health practice, health policy, and community engagement in research.

Since 2006, CTSI has worked to synthesize University-wide programs and new initiatives to promote a more comprehensive understanding—initially among members of the biomedical research/health care community, but also among the general public—of the tangible benefits to health practice that can be realized from clinical and translational research.

CTSI-supported programs and resources extend to all six of Pitt’s schools of the health sciences—and, through community engagement efforts, to the Pittsburgh region. Through the establishment of core divisions, CTSI has built an institutional infrastructure, including educational, programmatic, facility, and equipment resources, to support a wide range of clinical and translational research. The PInCh program stimulates translation of research into the community by giving researchers a venue to be creative, develop new ideas, and work with people beyond their usual sphere of collaborators.

Diverse Teams
Teams that enter must include at least one University of Pittsburgh faculty member but can otherwise be made up of individuals from other educational institutions or non-academic organizations (such as community groups or businesses). The PInCh competition hopes to bring together a diverse group of problem solvers who may not otherwise have considered working on a team.

Creative Solutions
The PInCh program recognizes—even celebrates—that solving challenging problems sometimes requires risky solutions. The program aims to mitigate that risk and support some of the early work necessary to move a few of those “wild ideas” forward. Each of the winning teams will receive an award for direct costs and project management support to help execute a 12-month project to take the team’s solution one step further along the path of development.

Project Facilitation Phase
This phase provides semifinalists a more personalized approach to provide a clear path to move their project forward. This phase consists of several advisory meetings to discuss regulatory paths, contracting, IP, budget, data security, etc. and will facilitate the award initiation process.

Questions? Email us at pinch@pitt.edu or contact a member of our innovation core team.

PInCh Core Team:
John Maier, PhD MD Director, Innovation Core
Mike Flock, PhD Innovation Core Manager
Will Hierholzer Assistant Core Manager
Phil Cicco, MSPPM Sr. Project Manager
Dana Farrell Research Facilitator
Ryan Dunning Communications Specialist

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