The Great Potential of Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation

April 25th, 2018

The pace at Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation is quickening.

The recent announcement that BioEnterprise and Accenture have formed a Cleveland-based working group, at the Global Center, to fight opioid addiction represents a noteworthy collaborative effort to address a national scourge. The working group was created after the second of the Global Center’s Executive Briefing Series, which is attracting thought leaders from across the country eager to take on some of society’s greatest healthcare challenges.

The working group is generating excitement in communities overwhelmed by a crisis they have been struggling to understand, contain and treat. However, the initiative would not have formed without the Global Center’s ability to bring national and local thought leaders together. The facility is maturing before our eyes into a convening center of healthcare leadership and entrepreneurial energy.

Consider other recent Global Center news:

  • Plug and Play, the Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart announced the launch of Plug and Play Cleveland’s Innovation Platform featuring a dozen healthcare cutting edge startup companies selected from a field of more than 480 applicants from around the world. Plug and Play Cleveland is the first satellite Innovation Platform outside of Silicon Valley in North America.
  • The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, or HIMSS, extended its lease at the Global Center through 2021, cementing its leadership in healthcare IT innovation in Cleveland.
  • HIMSS’ commitment is timely and positions the Global Center to take advantage of growing investments in the Midwest’s increasingly active healthcare IT sector. The newly released 2017 Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report from BioEnterprise showed that for the first time since the report was created in 2005, healthcare software and services companies attracted more investment than any other healthcare sector. The $1.2 billion in funding impacted more than 110 health IT companies.
  • The Medical Capital Innovation Competition taking place at the Global Center on April 23-24 has attracted more than 180 applications from 25 countries seeking the opportunity to travel to Cleveland and compete for more than $100,000 in cash prizes and collaboration opportunities with major healthcare partners.

Clearly, the Global Center is playing an increasingly key role in Cleveland’s healthcare innovation ecosystem.

In December 2017, BioEnterprise began our strategic engagement with this unique facility. In January, we moved about 25 people into the building and began to redefine what the Global Center is. Currently there are approximately 50 people working in the facility via various organizations.

We think of this asset as a gateway between Ohio’s healthcare and biomedical communities and the rest of the world. Part incubator, part accelerator, part think tank, the Global Center is becoming a mix of industry, investors and innovators who gather to solve critical healthcare problems that no one entity can attack on its own.

The Global Center will help catalyze Cleveland’s continued development as a global healthcare hub.

A local effort to grow and diversify the computer and data science talent pipeline, HIT in the CLE, is an example. Launched by BioEnterprise and supported by regional health IT companies, educational institutions and The Cleveland Foundation, HIT in the CLE is now permanently centered at the Global Center. Over the last two years, this unique collaboration has created and distributed career information to roughly 18,000 students across 21 Cuyahoga County high schools and launched the region’s first high school data science competition.

BioEnterprise was created in 2002 to stimulate healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation, attract talent and investment and nurture a sector in Northeast Ohio built upon clinical and research excellence.

Cleveland’s biomedical industry has grown from 300 companies in 2002 to over 700. Global firms such as Hitachi, Steris, Medtronic, Siemens, GE Healthcare, Hyland Software, IBM Explorys, Abeona Therapeutics and more now call Cleveland home.

Whether Cleveland can generate healthcare jobs, attract bioscience companies or win significant investment is no longer in question. The innovators and global visionaries are coming. We have the Global Center, the entrepreneurial energy of the HealthTech Corridor and the world-class clinical and research expertise of the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth, and Case Western Reserve University to mention only a few of our notable institutions.

Our challenge is building upon the momentum and further developing our formidable global healthcare network. The ongoing evolution of the Global Center is a key to our success.

Yes, the pulse of Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation is quickening, and by extension, so is Cleveland’s healthcare innovation economy. The great potential for the Global Center is already visible and within reach. Something truly unique is materializing before our eyes.

Aram Nerpouni is President and CEO of BioEnterprise, a Cleveland nonprofit founded to grow the bioscience industry in Northeast Ohio.

A version of this piece first appeared on on April 24, 2018.