Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Mercy Research and Development in Springfield to announce his administration's awarding of a $200,000 grant to the organization to expand its biomedical commercialization activities. Mercy Research and Development is part of the Mercy Health System.
The $200,000 grant, from the Missouri Technology Corporation's Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity program, will assist entrepreneurs with creating and launching innovative biomedical device companies that are developing solutions to a variety of medical issues.
"The physicians within Mercy are known for delivering world-class healthcare, but they also stand at the forefront of biomedical research. Their spirit of innovation and invention are leading to the development of new medical devices and new Missouri-based start-up businesses," said Gov. Nixon. "This impressive organization is a leader in Missouri's emerging biomedical technology sector, and this grant will assist Mercy in its continued development of innovative medical products to serve as a catalyst for new start-up businesses."
Mercy Research and Development will use the $200,000 grant from the Missouri Technology Corporation to address its primary goals of facilitating new biomedical startup businesses based on novel technologies developed in its research labs; assisting start-up companies with accessing investment capital; and other commercial support services.
Mercy Research and Development specializes in the development and commercialization of medical innovations, harnessing ideas from healthcare providers to create market-ready solutions to everyday issues and problems they encounter. Established in 2007, the organization currently employs 12 full-time scientific and business professionals at its location in Springfield.
Mercy Research and Development has 24 medical devices currently in development, ranging from a safety shield, which protects health care workers from accidental needle sticks, to the Graft On Skin and Tissue Applicator, which makes successful skin grafting easier. Just this month, Mercy Research and Development licensed two foam positioners, which will help put infants in the correct position for delicate surgeries. Mercy Research and Development is a senior corporate affiliate of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University.
In the past 14 months, Mercy Research and Development has commercialized two medical products, including Hands First, an alcohol-free foaming sanitizer that is proven 99 percent effective at killing harmful bacteria and viruses. Developed by a physician-entrepreneur in Springfield, the product is now manufactured in nearby Nixa. Mercy is also actively seeking to partner with start-up or established companies for six other products under development.
The Missouri Technology Corporation's Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity program has recently supported other efforts to enhance the state's entrepreneurial capacity, including the launch of Arch Grants in St. Louis; the expansion of the IT Entrepreneur Network; and expansion of the laboratories at the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia.
Gov. Nixon has made assisting and encouraging start-up businesses in Missouri a priority since the beginning of his administration. Last month, CNN-Money rated Missouri as the nation's sixth-best state for new business start-ups as part of its "10 Most Entrepreneurial States for 2011." Missouri was the only Midwestern state in the CNN-Money's Top 10. Additionally, the world-renowned Kauffman Foundation issued a report earlier this year that ranked Missouri as sixth in the nation in entrepreneurial activity during 2011- up from its 2010 ranking of 35th.