Innovation Ecosystem Projects Overview



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The Innovation Ecosystem (IE) team seeks to bolster a workplace environment that motivates, supports, and enables CHOP faculty and staff to develop and test new solutions. IE partners with and connects the various hubs and centers across CHOP that provide funding and support to innovation projects. Through such connections, IE can provide skill-building and networking resources relevant to CHOP innovators and those that support them. Current projects support a thriving innovation ecosystem at CHOP by Strengthening Community, Building Connections, and Increasing Capacity.

There is so much expertise at CHOP among our researchers, clinicians, lab managers, hospital operations, compliance/regulatory lawyers, and tech transfer experts. In such a large and dynamic organization, EKP can run queries with specific key terms to identify people at CHOP with critical expertise who could serve as mentors, research collaborators and advisors to help an idea move further faster. EKP's development has been sponsored by NSF I-CORP and the NSF RAPID grant.

The current version of EKP integrates data from NIHReporter and PubMed to facilitate expertise and resource finding, increase employee engagement, bridge internal silos, and create a culture of inclusion. Ultimately, the Innovation Ecosystem and Tsui Lab plan to integrate additional data from various public, proprietary and CHOP internal sources into EKP.

Learn more details, watch a user guide video, find answers to FAQs and log in to EKP, by visiting the EKP Application page.

IE hosts a class designed to increase awareness of academic entrepreneurship opportunities in clinical and research fields-- inside or adjacent to academia. The "Weaving Academic Entrepreneurship into Your Career" class is held a few times per year with different speakers and stories each session. Email [email protected] to receive invites and newsletters for alerts about this class.

IE also offers the first-of-its-kind survey course for CHOP faculty and staff, Academic Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: A Professional Development Course. Participants will build the skills necessary for academic entrepreneurship so they can take their next step in innovation with confidence.

This event series is designed to help CHOP innovators prepare for informed, productive conversations with CHOP’s expert legal, technology transfer, business, and other resources. The format facilitates networking and community-building and uses content from the Academic Entrepreneurship for Medical and Health Scientists eBook. Events are planned and executed in partnership with chapter authors who are local as well as CHOP-based subject matter experts. Visit the Innovation Ecosystem Sharepoint site (log in required) for information about upcoming events. Post-event resources are posted in Innovation Ecosystem Resources.

Formed in early 2020, the Innovation Communicators Group (ICG) group brings together representatives from various innovation hubs, or programs, that provide support to CHOP’s innovators in the form of funding, business plan development, technical/analytical expertise, protected time, and more. The ICG convenes at least quarterly to align communication strategies on innovation at CHOP, share best-practice tips, troubleshoot common barriers, and occasionally partner on projects. ICG convenings create shared knowledge to benefit all CHOP innovation programs. If your program supports innovators at CHOP and you would like to participate in the Innovation Communicators Group, please contact [email protected].

Member Hubs include:

Growth Business Planning - BOAT & Canoe (

Cell and Gene Therapy Collaborative

Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics

CHAMP 3D Printing (

Chair's Initiatives

CHOP Cares Community Grants Program

Frontier Programs

Multi-Disciplinary Program Resources

Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Center for Public Health Readiness and Response

Patient/Family Education Innovation Grant

Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium

The Possibilities Project

Getting Rid of Senseless Stuff (GROSS) Initiative

CHOP Internal Communications

Research Creative Services

CHOP’s Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics is home to the CHOP Improvement Education Program. Beginning in fall 2020, the IE team annually delivers a session on Design Thinking to participants of CHQA’s Leading Improvement Course. The session aims to complement and expand the CHOP Improvement Framework by teaching participants methods used in innovation and design that help identify needs in the “define” phase of a project and expand upon possible “change ideas” through creative thinking techniques. This session provides the experience and teaches the skills needed for CHOP faculty and staff to initiate and lead improvement projects in their units and departments. CHOP Employees can learn more about the Improvement Education Program on the @CHOP Community page.

COVID Innovator Interviews

Faced by challenges of the COVID pandemic, CHOP teams went above and beyond to ideate, build, test, implement, sustain, and grow innovative ideas to meet urgent needs. Through a series of interviews with innovators and frontline staff involved in building and executing said innovations, the IE team sought to understand the process, barriers, and facilitators to moving an innovation of any kind from idea to implementation in the CHOP environment, as well as how this environment changed during COVID. By generating key takeaways and recommendations based on faculty and staff insights, they aim to formalize these learnings into best practices and innovation pathways that can transform CHOP’s future state. CHOP Employees read more.

Scans and Expert Recommendations for Building an Innovation Ecosystem

In two consulting scopes of work, one looking internally to CHOP innovation experts and one looking externally at the innovation strategy and structure of peer institutions, IE team sought to build a comprehensive "landscape analysis" of pediatric healthcare innovation and CHOP’s position within it. The result: a list of strategic recommendations for building an innovation ecosystem, an institution-wide infrastructure to support and connect centers of excellence, individuals, and ideas. In partnership with various groups across CHOP, the IE team is actively working towards these goals. However, they aim to further engage key leaders and decision-makers who can adapt the consultant suggestions into actionable strategies for the future. CHOP Employees read more.