Building a network of innovators

When it comes to generating innovative solutions in health care, it’s fair to say clinicians don’t have all of the answers. But neither do disciplines, such as computer scientists, data analysts or engineers, who are also looking to make their mark in the industry.

That’s why we’ve partnered with academic institutions that are willing combine their talents with ours to create novel health care solutions.

IAI researchers presenting data graphs.

In collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our Jump Applied Research in Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES) program has awarded more than $5.46 million since its inception to projects between OSF clinicians, U of I faculty and instructors at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

The success of this program has led to a new partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) to establish the Community Health Advocacy (CHA) program. This effort funds concepts between OSF clinicians and UIC faculty with the potential to improve health equity and outcomes in urban areas. As we continue to grow our strategic partnerships with universities, we’ve launched the Innovation Academic Incubator (IAI) to build a network of health care innovators.


The IAI is an interconnected system where clinicians across the Ministry can easily connect with faculty and students from university partners and vice versa to develop and implement innovative health care solutions, convert them into companies or license them to outside companies. Members can also participate by reviewing project ideas and providing feedback on ideas that come before the Jump ARCHES and CHA committees.

As Mission Partners and university faculty sign up for the IAI, their institutional information, such as their CVs and Biosketches, remain on file for future grant applications. Members receive the latest information on opportunities for professional development, networking and upcoming events based on their interests. And they get access to resources that can help with budget creation and feedback on research protocols and hypothesis generation.

With more than 70 people registered so far, the IAI is made up of clinicians, data scientists, behavioral scientists, public health specialists, engineers, human-centered designers and many more. Matches are already being made between clinicians and university faculty to jump start proposals that can improve health care for the people we serve.

If approved, one proposed project between a pharmacy director and UIC faculty member may result in educating pharmacy technicians how to screen for social needs as they are more likely to interact with people who need help. And the IAI is working to match clinicians to projects that need to be reviewed.

Potential for even more growth

With the successful replication the Jump ARCHES model with the UIC, we are preparing to invite other academic collaborators into the IAI. The idea is to expand the network even further where we can initiate bidirectional exchanges of talent with multiple universities.

Categories: Big Data, Bioengineering, Engineering, Innovation, Internships, OSF Innovation, Performance Improvement (PI), Research, University of Illinois (U of I), University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP)