ÉTS, McGill and Concordia launch a joint Surgical Innovation program

A course of study unique in Canada

September 15, 2015
École de technologie supérieure, the Department of Surgery at McGill University, and the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University have just launched their Surgical Innovation program. This graduate and post-graduate course of study brings together the varied disciplines of engineering, surgery, and business. This innovative program, modelled after a successful venture at Stanford University, aims to endow students with the skills needed to create advanced tech companies in the field of surgery.

Addressing real needs

The Surgical Innovation program is the result of close collaboration among many researchers and professors from three universities. The new program’s first cohort includes nineteen students, including four in Surgery (McGill), seven in Engineering (ÉTS), and eight in Business Administration (Concordia). The training program is designed to help these students become high-tech entrepreneurs.

In addition to the hands-on training provided by engineers, surgeons, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and other specialists, the students will regularly visit McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) clinical facilities and enjoy privileged access to operating rooms. As a result, they will work on real-life medical issues as experienced by surgeons.

The students, divided into four teams, will pool their skill sets at each stage of the four-step process leading to the establishment of a business venture:

  • Needs assessment
  • Technological and industrial development of a promising solution
  • Financing
  • Market launch

As a result of this process, they will become familiar with the product development and marketing process as a whole.

Contributing to the ÉTS mission

According to ÉTS Executive Director Pierre Dumouchel, advanced research must lead to the creation of profitable technology companies. “Training, research, innovation, and industry relations remain at the centre of our strategies, but we also want to cultivate our students’ entrepreneurial capabilities and give them tools to create companies. That is why the Surgical Innovation program, which is aligned with the Innovation District’s focus on training and research, contributes to our objectives and our mission.”

A forward-looking program

This course of study, which is unique in Canada and has few equivalents around the world, is forward-looking in that it brings together various disciplines, provides access to operating theatres, and targets the profitable marketing of effective technology solutions.

This approach is modelled after Stanford University’s Biodesign program, which has successfully spawned thirty-eight start-ups currently in operation in the past twelve years. This is an average of three successful business launches per year – a highly enviable result for any university.

It is worth noting that an affiliation process between ÉTS and Stanford University is currently in the works. What an excellent way for ÉTS to enhance its visibility and prestige and foster initiatives that combine engineering and entrepreneurship.

surgeon innovation ets 
Vincent Duchaine (ÉTS professor and program co-director), Jake Barralet (McGill professor and program co-director), Graham Carr (VP, Research and Graduate Studies), Sandra Betton (Concordia professor and program co-director), Pierre Dumouchel (Executive Director, ÉTS), Dr Gerald M. Fried, (Edward W. Archibald Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, McGill University, and Surgeon-in-Chief, MUHC), Jean-Luc Fihey (Director, Academic Affairs and Industry Relations, ÉTS), Natalia Nuño (ÉTS professor and program co-director), Nathalie Goyette (Project Manager, Surgical Innovation), and Thomas Feven (Concordia professor and program co-director).

To find out more  :

Description of the program

For information
Service des communications - ÉTS
Chantal Crevier
514 396-8800, poste 7893

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