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Kyriacos A. Athanasiou. The road ahead must forge through research & commercialization Cyprus Entrepreneurship Competition , Nicosia, Cyprus December 17 , 2003. President, Biomedical Engineering Society Professor, Bioengineering, Rice University

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Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

The road ahead must forge through research & commercialization

Cyprus Entrepreneurship Competition, Nicosia, Cyprus

December 17, 2003

President, Biomedical Engineering Society

Professor, Bioengineering, Rice University

Adj. Professor, Orthopaedics, Univ. of Texas Houston

Adj. Professor, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Univ. of Texas Houston

Founder, OsteoBiologics, Inc.

Founder, Xilas Medical, Inc.

Founder, VidaCare, Corp.

Founder, CyTex, Ltd.


  • Traditional technology transfer paradigm (e.g., OsteoBiologics, Xilas, VidaCare, CyTex)

  • A novel approach for commercialization

  • Proposal for establishment of a research institute in Cyprus

Technology transfer paradigm modus operandi
Technology transfer paradigmMODUS OPERANDI







VidaCare Corporation

University-based research leads to an emergency care medical company

Technology transfer paradigm proposed
Technology transfer paradigm statins)PROPOSED

Development Corporation

Centres of Excellence in Applied Research



New companies

What do i propose

INSTITUTE statins)

What do I propose?

Centre of Excellence


Development Corporation


The underlying principles
The underlying principles statins)

  • Each centre should be based on the pursuit of applied research with commercializable potential

  • Centres should be created around particular people – not areas

  • The human factor should be the underpinning of this effort

Cyprus biomedical institute
Cyprus Biomedical Institute statins)

  • A Centre of Excellence in biomedical research – applied research

  • Along with a Development Corporation for technology commercialization

  • Areas of concentration: Orthopaedic, Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering (orthopaedics and maxillofacial), Cardiovascular, and Diabetes

  • Disclaimer

The institute a highly focused effort
The Institute: statins)A highly focused effort

Examples of new technologies:

  • Biodegradable materials used in orthopaedic applications

  • Regeneration of articular cartilage and the meniscus

  • Devices related to the prevention of diabetes effects on the lower extremity

  • Reduction of blood lipids (e.g., cholesterol and triglycerides)

The statins)Centre of Excellence

  • A traditional, not-for-profit conduit of applied research in few biomedical areas

  • Members as research associates – Centre’s key leaders joint academic appointments

  • Attract outstanding graduate students and fellows from all over the world – primarily from the University of Cyprus

  • Studies: publishable in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals

  • Competitive and vigorous pursuit of research grants

The statins)Development Corporation

  • Business direction; investment fund

  • Evaluation of research results with commercialization in mind

  • Small team (2-3 people) with deep understanding of entire process

  • Clear exit strategy aimed at maximizing returns to investment

  • 5 years: financial benefits, if mature technologies selected

  • Arduous and failure prone process -- one or two success stories… Success breeds success


(President, management team)

Centre of Excellence

non-profit academic organization

Lab 4

Lab 1

Lab 3

Lab 2

Scientific Advisory Board

Board of Directors

Development Corporation

business entity

Success criteria
Success criteria statins)

  • Dual mission of Institute:

  • Act as a repository of research projects at the cutting edge of applied biomedicine

    • Few, well-respected, outstanding, pre-selected people

    • Only a few biomedical areas

    • Active laboratories

    • Competitive grants

    • Work presented at international forums

  • Be a financial success

    • Self-sustained

    • One financially and commercially viable company

THE PLAN statins)

  • People-centred Institute

  • Focused & sustained effort

  • Applied research in Cyprus recognized to be on par with that of best centres in the world

  • Change perception of Cyprus as lacking innovative, biomedical industry

  • Convince investors that Cyprus is a suitable place for investment in biomedicine

  • Be a financial success

  • Diversification of the Cyprus economy

Funding from statins):

National Institutes of Health, NHTSA, Binational Science Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, Industrial sources (Arthrex, OsteoBiologics, DePuy, Nutramax, VidaCare, Xilas)