The GTPT Pediatric Innovation Funding Ecosystem

Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies’ mission is to accelerate development, regulatory approval, and clinical utility of new medical technologies for pediatric patients. We connect researchers including engineers, data analysts, scientists, chemists and others with front line pediatric clinicians to create new technologies for unmet pediatric healthcare needs. We further connect those parties to the funding, institutional, development, regulatory and industrial resources needed to make them clinically and commercially viable.

We fund development activities that organizations like the National Institutes of Health do not. We also tap other funding for specific activities, like preclinical studies, for technologies with high potential for commercialization and clinical utility.

Every project we fund is clinician-driven. Each project is led by a clinician from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and an engineer or scientist from Georgia Tech as principal investigators.

We also fund academic ‘chairs’ and scholarships for promising researchers and students whose areas of expertise align with our mission and support funding ‘applications’ and ‘activation’ from sources across the entirety of the local, regional and national pediatric innovation ecosystem.


Funding Sources, Purpose and More


Georgia Tech Foundation Endowment Seed Grant 

Funded by gifts from myriad donors, the Georgia Tech Foundation, its Board of Trustees, officers and staff foster and manage gifts given in support of academic excellence in the spirit and traditions of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In 2012, Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson and the Foundation’s board endowed $8.5 million of Foundation resources to fund seed grants to be administered by Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies for the purpose of achieving our stated mission with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

There are three types of project types funded by seed grants from this endowment: general, app development and nursing.

General seed grants promote collaborations between Georgia Tech scientists and engineers and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta clinicians in the solving of problems that impact the healthcare of children. This effort is funded by the Georgia Tech Pediatric Research Endowment. Any topic on pediatric healthcare is eligible for submission, with preference given to seed grant proposals that target large, center grants.

App Development seed grants support the development of smartphone apps and related software for implementation in the clinic or at home with the patient. Grant awardees will be advised by Morgan Greenleaf, with the Emory School of Medicine, to tackle a clinical problem using a patient centered design and development process.

Nursing seed grants are made to stimulate new projects through sharing of ideas and building new collaborations and providing support for nursing ideas that may translate to new products for care, as well as for better workflow through process improvement of identifying trends in practice through evaluation of data.

Department of Nursing Research and EBP for Nursing and Allied Health, in partnership with Georgia Tech, will fund a seed grant to a Nursing – GA Tech team to develop and implement project ideas that may translate to improved quality and safety in pediatric patient care.

Funding decisions are made by committee. Those committee members include: subject matter experts, clinicians, engineers, scientists and others with successful medtech commercialization experience representing Georgia Tech and its formally recognized affiliates, CHOA and the Emory Department of Pediatrics. Final funding decisions are made by Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies and CHOA.

Imlay Innovation Fund

In 2016, “The Imlay Foundation made a $5 million grant — the largest in its 25-year history — to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech to help fund the development of pediatric therapies.

“Mary Ellen Imlay is a longtime board member of Children’s. She explained that the gift was one important way to honor her husband, by creating an endowment that will support the Imlay Innovation Fund in perpetuity.

The Imlay Innovation Fund is intended solely to support collaborative activities and pediatric innovation and discovery efforts between Georgia Tech and Children’s, focusing on practical steps that will lead to clinical impact.

Proposals should focus on solving a problem that will impact care delivery and/or has the potential to positively impact child health. Approaches may include human factors engineering, predictive modeling, development of devices and technologies, and other novel approaches to address healthcare problems.

Two types of projects are eligible for Imlay Innovation funding: Quick Wins and Innovation Investment. Quick Wins supports projects that can be accomplished in 12-18 months and can be quickly translated into practice. Innovation Investment is intended to help bridge the funding gap that often blocks the next phase of implementation or commercialization after initial proof of concept. Innovation Investment awards should allow investigators to collect much-needed data, complete further proof-of-concept studies, or to produce prototypes for testing in order to effectively compete for extramural or investment funding.

The Imlay Foundation made an additional gift of $3 million in 2020 for projects implemented and supported by Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies.

Funding decisions are made by committee. Those committee members include: subject matter experts, clinicians, engineers, scientists and others with successful medtech commercialization experience representing Georgia Tech and its formally recognized affiliates, CHOA and the Emory Department of Pediatrics. Final funding decisions are made by Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies and CHOA.

The Imlay Foundation reviews funding submissions and makes recommendations for projects to be funded, but its representatives do not ‘vote’ as it relates to final funding decisions.


Shriners Children’s “Seed Grants”

“You see and want the glass of milk on the table across the room. That’s no problem for most of us, who will simply walk to the table, grab the glass, and enjoy the milk. Triggering all of that limb movement is a complex set of coordinated neuromuscular commands and actions, which are not so simple for that segment of the population with, say, cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury.

“To help young people struggling with those conditions – or orthopedic problems like clubfoot, scoliosis, and osteogenesis imperfecta, among other things – Shriners Children’s ® and the Georgia Institute of Technology launched an ambitious collaborative research effort to address these conditions, including the development of devices to facilitate limb movement and function.

“Our joint goals, through genetic and genomic data gathered by Shriners Hospitals for Children, are to improve patient therapeutic responses by optimizing individualized treatment regimens and reducing adverse events,” Lalande said.”

Read more from Georgia Tech Research Horizons including description of one of the first funded projects led by Jaydev Desai, professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory University and Scott Kozin, M.D., chief of staff and hand surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, on a wearable customized robotic exoskeleton with voice recognition for children with cervical spine injury.

Funding decisions are made by a committee consisting of the Shriners Hospital for Children Vice President of Research Programs, Shriners clinicians and Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies leadership.


Peterson Professorships in Pediatric Research

Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies funds two Professorships supported by the G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Faculty Endowment Fund. These Professorships honor the former Georgia Tech President and First Lady, whose vision for the importance of research in improving pediatric healthcare has had a positive impact on the care of pediatric patients in our state and region.

The goal of this program is to further energize the Georgia Tech and CHOA partnership by engaging and empowering researchers currently involved in pediatric research and those who may be new to the field but have exciting expertise and perspectives to offer. Each Professorship will be supported by one million dollars of the Peterson Faculty Endowment Fund’s resources, with the proceeds (approximately $40,000 per year) to be used at Georgia Tech for the promotion of joint Georgia Tech / CHOA pediatric-focused research. Professorship holders shall be research-active faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology at any rank. The term of each Professorship shall be three years, with the option of one three-year renewal.

Professorship funding decisions are made by a committee consisting of Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies’ Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Innovation Officer, the Executive Director of the Georgia Tech Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB), the Georgia Tech VP for Interdisciplinary Research and the Chief Research Officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


Parker H. Petit Undergraduate Research Scholarships

Georgia Tech Pediatric Technologies provides funding assistance for The Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars program, a competitive scholarship program that serves to develop the next generation of leading bioengineering and bioscience researchers by providing a comprehensive research experience for a full year. Open to all Atlanta area university students, the program allows undergraduates to conduct independent research in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB).

Scholarship award decisions are made annually by IBB leadership.


Other Pediatric Innovation Funding Sources and Mechanisms to which we present promising technologies 

  • Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) VentureLab – From concept to commercial product. From POC to VC investment for startup
    • Our funding role: Facilitator

  • Georgia Department of Economic Development Center of Innovation (GDEcD COI) – 12 month timeframe, anything related to commercialization that needs University System of Georgia (USG) R&D help.  Requires matching funds.
    • Our funding role: Facilitator 
  • Center for Medtech Excellence – TBD
    • Our funding role: Facilitator

  • I-CORPS South (an NSF program) – Prototype Early stage company
    • Our funding role: Introductory and Facilitator

  • Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), Georgia Chapter of the National Institutes of Health – Early concept/idea/pilot
    • Our funding role: Facilitator

  • CreateX (Georgia Tech student or faculty) – Early concept, Early stage company
    • Our funding role: Introductory and Facilitator

  • SBIR/STTR – Company exists / Early company phase. Note: STTR allows more money to go to the  university partner than SBIR
    • Our funding role: Introductory

  • FDA Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) Grants Program – Early idea phase / Early company
    • Our funding role: Facilitator

  • Biolocity – Any phase, translate technology commercially
    • Our funding role: Facilitator

  • Impact Pediatric Health – Startup
    • Our funding role: Influencer

  • AIMed – Startup
    • Our funding role: Facilitator


Funding via Reduced Rate or In-Kind Contribution

  • GCMI (Global Center for Medical Innovation, a Georgia Tech Affiliate organization) – Any phase, including preclinical, translate technology commercially
    • Our role: Introductory, Facilitator and Influencer


Other Resources: Medtech Concept to Commercialization Ecosystem



International Children’s Advisory Network

International Society that facilitates industry and academia interaction with iCAN to get youth (age 8-18) opinions on devices that affect them, in addition to youth insight on clinical trial protocols,  pediatric health educational materials, etc. 

International Society for Pediatric Innovation

International professional society that facilitates innovation in pediatric healthcare, bringing together innovators from children’s hospitals, researchers, and industry to encourage development across  the pediatric collective. Facilitates large-scale research and development around the world. Offers pitch competition with AI Med. Intending to establish an innovation fund to assist in pediatric device  development.
KIDSx  International accelerator for Pediatric Innovation by bringing together the top children’s hospitals and talented digital health companies to build, test and deploy software solutions to make pediatric  care exceptionally effective, safe, efficient and convenient for children and families.

Institute for Clinical Trials for Children

International organization that serves as a neutral and independent organization to bring a dedicated voice to the advancement of new medicines and devices needed now and in the future. Our work  is to engage public and private stakeholders through research and education to ensure that healthcare for children is continually improved by enhancing the awareness, quality and support for pediatric  clinical trials. 

Pediatric Trials Network

NIH-funded organization whose research addresses knowledge gaps in the use of medications for pediatric patients. They efficiently and safely study medicines in the youngest patients

Multiregional Clinical Trials Center

International organization that engages diverse stakeholders to define emerging issues in global clinical trials and to create and implement ethical, actionable, and practical solutions. Develops and  disseminates guidelines and best practices. 
FDA  Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) “Device Advice” for comprehensive regulatory education. Device Advice is CDRH’s text-based resource that explains many aspects of medical device  laws, regulations, guidance, and policies, encompassing the entire product life cycle. Willing to meet with device developers throughout the process. Special section for pediatric projects.


“The National Ecosystem for Pediatric Medical Devices.” Facilitator. To improve public health for children, SHIP-MD is aimed at transforming the pediatric medical device ecosystem by de-risking and accelerating developmental processes to stimulate investment and innovation in pediatric devices.

Institute for Pediatric Innovation

The Institute for Pediatric Innovation focuses on 4 keys to promote IDEA’s: Identify, Disseminate, Educate and Advocate. We seek to identify key innovations that are proven and serve our mission.  Once identified, we seek to Disseminate new technologies through or network. Education is the importance of engaging both providers and patients in using technology. Finally, Advocacy for public  policy that enhances care through technology for all children.
GA BIO The Mission is to advance the growth of Georgia’s life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. 

To accomplish this mission, GaBio conducts business and economic development activities; advocates on behalf of the industry on public policy matters; educates the public about the benefits of life  sciences research and product development; and provides a network for the exchange of ideas, information, and opportunities for BioInnovation.

Center for MedTech  


Providing a reimagined, comprehensive approach for concept to commercialization and sustainable innovation, which is crucial for cultivating more agile healthcare organizations. A three-year  collaboration with ATDC, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), and GCM. Together, these globally competitive incubator and ecosystem developers will leverage ScaleUp Lab  @ATDC and Mentor Studio to address unique scaling challenges for medical technology and for startups in Georgia. The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) team proposes a standard platform,  enabling startup commercialization of medical device technologies and creating new jobs with a multidisciplinary mentor pool that facilitates successful market penetration and operational sustainability.

Who & when to get in touch

If you are a clinician with an idea or technology based on a strong unmet need,

If you are a scientist or engineer with ____ or,

If you are interested in learning more about our work, or possibly making a gift that advances innovation in pediatric care

Connect with us.