USC Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program

Programs & Services

Our Process

Our program aims to leverage best practices from industry for the development and commercialization of technologies that can impact healthcare.  A key component is the formation of an interdisciplinary collaborative team wherein a clinician with a clear unmet or underserved clinical need is paired with an engineer for development and testing of a solution for that need.  These partnerships are selected and supported by an Oversight Committee comprised of clinicians experienced in translation, leaders from the industrial community, and investors who are accomplished in technology commercialization in the healthcare sector.  The teams receive mentoring and advice in the areas of product development that are key to successful translation of their technology solution including development and execution of a milestone-driven project plan that focuses on specific determinative experiments in a managed process, regulatory and reimbursement planning, and identification of a commercialization pathway.   A key component of the Coulter process also includes early engagement with technology transfer representatives from the USC Stevens Center for Innovation for de-risking projects though intellectual property and market analysis, and early identification and engagement with potential partners with financing and product commercialization capabilities.  This process is key to attracting professional investment to technology solutions so that they can be successfully commercialized and reach the patients who need them.

For upcoming innovation and training workshops, please visit the event calendar for Health, Technology and Engineering/Coulter.

Program Services

We provide a variety of services to the clinical and engineering communities at USC including the following:

  • One-on-one meetings with Program Office representatives to discuss potential clinical needs and technology applications
  • Connection to a wide range of external experts and advisors for teams to receive consultations
  • Technology Feasibility and Commercialization Assessment of applicant team project pre-proposals through the USC Coulter Intern Program under mentorship of the USC Stevens Center
  • Participation in a Commercialization Workshop offered to all applicant teams
  • Connection to a business advisor to work with teams on planning and executing their commercialization strategy
  • Workshop series - USC C3i -  led by external industry experts covering key areas, including the following:

o   Development and Manufacture of Medical Devices

o   Regulatory Strategies for Medical Device Development

o   Technology Development Pathways

o    SBIR/STTR  Funding Mechanisms

o   Industry Engagement and Corporate Collaborations

Pilot Funding Program

The USC Coulter Translational Research Program started with $5 million funding for partnership between USC and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. The aim is to improve patient healthcare by developing solutions that address unmet or underserved clinical needs.

Through the Pilot Funding Program, USC Coulter will award up to $100K to projects that enable novel clinical treatments through groundbreaking biomedical engineering discoveries. You can use these funds to generate preliminary data, acquire validation data, or develop your business by generating business plans and commercialization strategies. Additionally, you will also have access to USC Coulter’s interdisciplinary product development teams who can help you create, develop, and/or de-risk your project. These teams include faculty members from the Biomedical Engineering Department in the Viterbi School of Engineering and clinical faculty from the Keck School of Medicine.

Eligibility:  Applicants from all schools at USC are welcome. The Coulter team will help identify BME and/or clinical collaborators.

Criteria: USC Coulter Oversight Committee whose members include entrepreneurs, accomplished scientists, clinicians, venture capitalists, and industry representatives review and select Pilot Program projects. This core team evaluates proposals based on the clinical need, significance of impact on health care, timeline and path to commercialization, and most importantly, on the potential to attract further financial investment for translation of their technology into a healthcare solution.

How to Apply: Please submit a 2-page (max.) Letter of Intent addressing the criteria listed above to ‘’ by December 31st to be considered.

Intern Program

Each spring, the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program recruits graduate students from across the university to serve as Coulter Interns for the semester. In collaboration with the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, Coulter Interns receive commercialization training through the paid internship opportunity and work directly with program staff to support faculty inventors that have applied for project funding through the pilot program. Coulter Program Interns perform a number of tasks under the direction of program staff that provide them with assessment and analytical skills, including:

  • Reviewing pre-proposal applications, invention disclosures and related information submitted by USC inventors
  • Assessing the potential development of proposed device (technology assessment)
  • Performing market research to understand the competitive environment (Internet searches, industry publications, calling organizations)
  • Evaluating potential market opportunities of each technology and their value proposition in a given market
  • Conducting market assessments (involving both primary and secondary research) and preparing detailed business feasibility studies for new technologies
  • Supporting select Coulter teams with proposal and pitch development
  • Evaluating and developing business models and market penetration strategies
  • Conducting legal research regarding issues in patent and copyright law
  • Assisting in the development & revision of IP, reimbursement and regulatory strategies

Published on August 7th, 2017

Last updated on February 28th, 2020