NCC-PDI Extends Application Deadline for $250K Pediatric Pitch Competition and Announces Patient Advocacy Panel

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Innovators have until April 9 to apply for the competition focusing on orthopedics and spine

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With less than a month until the “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids! competition, the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) extends the application deadline to April 9 at midnight EST. Innovators and startup companies with devices in the pediatric orthopedic and spine sector are invited to apply for a chance to win up to $50,000 and access the newly created NCC-PDI “Pediatric Device Innovator Accelerator Program” led by MedTech Innovator.

This competition, which will be held on April 30 at the University of Maryland, College Park, is the eighth competition in six years hosted by NCC-PDI and is one of five FDA Pediatric Device Consortia grant programs supporting the development and commercialization of pediatric medical devices. The NCC-PDI is led by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. The consortium recently added new accelerators BioHealth Innovation and MedTech Innovator and design firm partner, Smithwise.

Investors, physicians, medtech executives and other innovators attending the competition will watch live pitch presentations from the finalists and hear their thought-provoking exchanges with the multi-disciplinary panel of judges. Additionally, the competition features a patient advocacy panel discussion about incorporating the patient’s perspective into the research and development of innovative pediatric medical devices.

“By hosting the patient engagement panel during the pitch competition we’re reinforcing to innovators how influential the voice of the pediatric patient should be in all phases of device development to best position devices for adoption in clinical settings,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Health System and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. “Placing patient experiences at the forefront of innovation elevates standards of care that create healthy futures for children.”

Eskandanian adds that comprehensive thinking such as this is particularly needed in devices for pediatric orthopedics and spine patients, the sector chosen as the subspecialty focus of this pitch competition and identified by the FDA as one of the emerging underserved specialties lacking innovation. Oftentimes pediatric orthopedic surgeons have to manipulate adult devices and fit them to use for children because they lack pediatric specific tools in their toolbox.

“Some advancements have been made on the clinical side to develop less invasive and more precise pediatric orthopedic devices that improve treatment outcomes,” says Matthew Oetgen, M.D., division chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National. “But I’m hopeful that innovators will also begin making more child-friendly devices that eliminate undue pre-surgical angst, increase patient compliance and improve the overall patient experience. These are three significant contributors to achieving positive treatment outcomes that can be enhanced by leveraging real patient voices.”

The patient advocacy panel is just one added value opportunity for competition finalists. BioHealth Innovation is offering pitch coaching to finalists through the Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Program. Competition winners will gain access to the first of its kind NCC-PDI “Pediatric Device Innovator Accelerator Program” where MedTech Innovator will provide mentorship and networking opportunities for them with medtech executives, investors, specialty pediatricians and FDA regulatory and business consultants.

For more information about the NCC-PDI and to apply for the upcoming pitch competition, visit . The application deadline is midnight EST on April 9, 2019. To register to attend the competition, visit

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About Children’s National Health System
Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park, is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff and 352,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., University of Maryland discovers and shares new knowledge every day through their renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And it is committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus. The university’s Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices seeks to catalyze the transformation of basic research into clinical practice and commercial success. The Institute aims to drive innovation by immersing creative and energetic scientists and engineers in a nurturing and rewarding research environment where engineered health systems are conceived of and investigated. The Institute is comprised of staff, resources, facilities, and a network of experts who not only facilitate prototyping and manufacturing expertise, but who also facilitate venture creation, intellectual property creation, and product passage through various clinical, regulatory and reimbursement hurdles.

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