A formal Call to Innovate was announced this morning, the first major project of the Open Innovation Center at the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC) in downtown Jacksonville.
The center is working with health care partners, UF Health Jacksonville, Brooks Rehabilitation and Florida Blue, who have developed six use cases for which they are looking for innovative solutions from entrepreneurs and startups. Some of the use cases include care transition technologies, virtual care delivery in underserved communities and health care artificial intelligence (AI). Descriptions of use cases and proposals can be submitted through the Open Innovation Forum portal with a submission deadline of April 7.
Selected entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the health care partners and other investors. While the exact outcomes for winning pitches will vary on the company and the need, some potential benefits include customer acquisition, joint product development and advisory board opportunities.
“This is much more about tangible economic growth and job creation than it is about winning a cash prize,” JAX Chamber Chief Innovation Officer Carlton Robinson said. “This is building the innovation ecosystem here in Jacksonville and connecting entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow their businesses and create jobs in our community.”
About 20 small business and innovators were part of the meeting that also included Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis and the participating health care partners.
The Open Innovation Center is a partnership between JTA and JAXUSA Partnership, the regional economic development arm of the JAX Chamber. Last year, JTA and JAXUSA Partnership finalized lease terms for 3,900-square-feet of business accelerator space in the JRTC.
“This Call to Innovate is just one of the many opportunities entrepreneurs will have in the coming years to develop ideas and creative solutions to make our community a better place,” said Ford. “That level of ingenuity will be a mainstay of the Open Innovation Center, and why we are so excited to house this important collaborative space inside the JRTC at LaVilla.”