Spotlight on the Bench to Bedside Competition

May 04, 2015 | Labs Blog

By Austen Paulsen for BiolawToday blog.

Austen PaulsenOn Wednesday, April 8th, the Center of Medical Innovation hosted the 5th annual Bench to Bedside Competition Night. As the patent fellows for the Center of Medical Innovation, Michelle Kevern and I were able to help six Bench to Bedside teams in drafting and filing provisional patent applications. We also were able to give many other teams advice on patentability. Competition Night was a great opportunity to see prototypes and hear pitches from all of the teams that we worked with throughout the semester. It was especially gratifying that almost all of the teams we worked with ended up doing well and winning prizes.

Bench to Bedside is a competition open to University of Utah students in which teams compete to develop new medical devices and create start-up companies to market their products. Bench to Bedside is a multi-disciplinary competition and this year’s competition featured students from across campus, including students from the College of Medicine, David Eccles School of Business, and College of Engineering, among others. A wide variety of medical devices were pitched at Competition Night, including a device for moving handicapped individuals from one seat to another; an exercise app that turns exercise into a game; a more convenient, comfortable and discreet breast pump; and a device for safely removing tissue from a human body. Teams were awarded prizes including cash and legal services in an array of categories such as the most green, the most beneficial to third world countries, and the best marketing strategy.

My experience as one of the patent fellows for the Center of Medical Innovation has been extremely beneficial. I was able to get hands-on experience with inventors and draft applications in concert with the inventors. Michelle and I were able to teach students from across campus about patentability and aid teams in starting down the path to patent protection. I have heard nothing but positive things about the Bench to Bedside competition and hope that I will be involved in it for years to come.


For photographs of the 2015 Bench to Bedside Competition Night visit:

For more information on the Bench to Bedside Competition, visit the Center of Medical Innovation’s website: