Mentors2Research mentees

The mentees for the sixth round of the Mentors2Research program that runs from January 2017 through October/ November 2017 have now been selected. The 2017 mentees are Rolf Heckemann, professor at MedTech West and Gothenburg University, and Max Ortiz Catalan, assistant Professor at the Biomedical Signals and Systems research group at Chalmers University of Technology, and founder of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory.

– I´m looking forward to being part of the program and to gain a better insight into the development and commercialization of medical devices, says Max Ortiz Catalan.

The purpose of the Mentors2Research (M2R) program is to be a ”catalyst for utilization” of academic research results. The objective in the longer term is to increase and accelerate commercialization of research results from the academic world. One of the most important factors in making the program attractive to be part of, is to handpick business mentors based on each individual researcher’s needs and goals. The mentors and researchers typically meet in person about once per month. In addition to the individual meetings, there are frequent contacts between mentors and mentees as well as there are several regional meetings including a workshop with all mentors and researchers.

Justin Schneiderman and Michael Schöll, both researchers at MedTech West and Gothenburg University, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, have been mentees during the past year. Let´s hear what they have to say.

Justin SchneidermanJustin, what have you done in the program this year?

– I have learned about the various parts of the Chalmers innovation system, what they do, how they overlap, and how they tackle commercialization from different angles during the formal meetings of the mentors and researchers. My less formal meetings with my mentor have opened my eyes to the financial side of commercialization and utilization of research results, how to pitch ideas and collaborative requests effectively, and how my role as a researcher already includes aspects that are central in utilization. Research and commercialization do not conflict with one another!

What is the greatest benefit from being part of the program?

– Learning that commercialization can mean much more than just developing research results into a product or service of some kind. Our skills as researchers are attractive to industry and we can have commercial impacts that reach far beyond the distribution area of a single “research result”.

What advice could you give to the new participants?

– Approach the program with an open mind- things are likely to take turns you don’t expect, but the outcome was, for me at least, surprisingly empowering and interesting!

Michael SchöllMichael, what have you done in the program this year?

– A main part of the M2R program is the regular meetings and events- both with the whole group and with the mentor alone. During the course of the program, I developed a commercialization concept from idea to first funding through GU Ventures.

What is the greatest benefit from being part of the program?

– Definitely the network consisting of peers and mentors with very diverse backgrounds. That diversity is enormously exciting, and it guarantees fruitful and interesting interactions.

What advice could you give to the new participants?

– Make use of the resources provided by the course administrators and the other participants!

If you want to read more about the M2R program, here´s the link!