What is TREAT?

The Center for the Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology (TREAT) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Rehabilitation Research Resource Network (MR3). Funding is provided by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) through awards R24HD065703 and P2CHD086841.

What services do you provide?

Education, Commercialization Assistance Services and Sabbaticals are available for researchers and projects that are: 1) at an early stage and need support to create pilot data that may eventually lead to an extramurally funded project or third party investment or 2) for advancing the development and commercialization of an existing technology related to rehabilitation (research) at any pre-commercial stage.

Rehabilitation Engineers are welcome to take part in one or more of three core programs:

  • Technology & Market Assessment Core includes an existing program and paradigm for technology, market, needs assessment and evaluation.
  • Technology Prototyping and Development Core has existing capacity and expertise to design, build, test, and transfer to manufacturing technology concepts that pass the technology assessment screening process
  • Comparative Effectiveness & Clinical Research Core provides education, services and training to allow rehabilitation researchers to develop and propose relevant and practical clinical trials to support the validation and translation of research ideas to clinical practice.

How is TREAT different from other services?

Our mandate is to help you, the inventor, take your product, technology or service through a commercialization process. We use a step-by-step method with tools that provide objective measures and milestones. You may engage TREAT for a formal evaluation of your technology and the market, use our advanced prototyping capabilities for technical feasibility analysis or design for manufacturing,  and benefit from our comparative effectiveness research trial design expertise.

Our clients have won design awards, business competitions, received government funding and successfully transitioned to sales and sustainability.

Our focus is on product development and technology transfer for technologies that are rehabilitative or in the Assistive Technology markets.

How does TREAT handle Intellectual Property (IP)?

All Intellectual Property belongs to you the inventor. We focus on showing you a way to achieve technology transfer. This usually requires the technology to become robust and mature enough to be ready for manufacture. Part of our Technology and Market Assessment Process is to help you make sure that your IP is protected so that you can decide the best path for your technology.

What is the relationship between Simbex and TREAT?

TREAT is a multi-institution NIH funded center that has as its partners Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, University of Pittsburgh, and Simbex, which acts as the lead site.

How does TREAT work with RESNA?

We have supported RESNA’s mission to educate rehabilitation engineers and develop assistive technology solutions for a number of years. We primarily focus on sponsoring RESNA’s Student Design Competition and have worked to develop a prize that dovetails well with this competition and is awarded at RESNA’s Annual Conference.

Application Process

How do I apply?

The applications and request for applications (RFA) links are found here. If you are interested in applying, please download both documents.

Who should consider applying?

If you are a rehabilitation or assistive technology researcher, engineer, or clinician with an idea or project that could take advantage of any of our three core programs, you are encouraged to apply or contact us for more information. We usually ask for you to first go through a Technology and Market Assessment process. You can either do that through us or perhaps working with a local business school, business incubator, or product development think tank.

Should I submit my application as a private individual or through my institution?

You are encouraged to submit an application through which ever means you prefer. Please be aware that we only allow up to an 8% institutional indirect rate on any budget submitted.

Will TREAT sign an NDA before I submit my application?

No. We understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality and disclosing conflict of interest, as both relate to the development and eventual commercial success of your innovation. TREAT implements a process for disclosing conflict of interest and maintaining confidentiality for potential and active clients. It is not our intention to disclose your ideas to entities that may be competitive to your business or compromise that success in any way. When you submit an abstract, we consider the information provided to be non-confidential. When your application is submitted for Pilot Grant consideration, this information is considered confidential to any of our reviewers or staff who view it.

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Learn more about TREATS available Sabbaticals and Pilot Grants.

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