The MnDRIVE - Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy - initiative is a landmark partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota that aligns areas of University research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries to address grand challenges. It represents a unique, collaborative research model involving interdisciplinary research across the University that address grand challenges and include industry partnerships as a key component. In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature authorized an $18 million recurring annual investment in four research areas identified by University faculty and deans and corporate partners as the most promising areas for partnership: Robotics, Global Food, Environment and Brain Conditions.
Brain conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy and mental illness, are chronic afflictions that diminish a person’s quality of life. These conditions affect one in five Americans. The social and economic impacts are devastating, with annual U.S. health care and lost productivity costs estimated at nearly $500 billion. Through high-impact research and discovery in the field of neuromodulation, MnDRIVE trains the next generation of scientists and clinicians, and brings new and improved therapies to Minnesotans suffering from brain conditions. The initiative seeks to expand University partnerships with industries to bring neuromodulation innovations to market, which benefits patients and advances the state’s economy.
Several members of the UMN Udall Center are current MnDRIVE scholars and/or researchers and our center director, Dr. Jerrold Vitek, serves on the MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Leadership Team. MnDRIVE was an important part in setting the stage for the UMN Udall Center and the Udall Center looks forward to continued collaboration with MnDRIVE.
You can learn more about MnDRIVE and their initiatives here.