The Nicholson Foundation and NJHF Announces Grants for Healthcare Innovators

The Nicholson Foundation and New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) are collaborating to implement an Innovations Grants Program that will award $500,000 in grants to healthcare innovators in New Jersey. Selected innovators will each receive up to $50,000.

The Nicholson Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare for New Jersey’s underserved communities, will contribute $250,000. NJHF, a not-for-profit based in New Brunswick that funds research projects in New Jersey, will provide an additional $250,000. This collaboration demonstrates the benefits of foundations collaborating synergistically to advance shared goals.

Funding will be offered to faculty and staff from Kessler Foundation, Princeton University, Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. The innovators will be given a year to hone their ideas and implement their projects. Subsequently, projects with the most potential for commercial growth will be eligible for additional funding.

“To address the complex healthcare needs of New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents, we know it takes creative thinking, fresh ideas, and a culture that supports innovation,” said Joan Randell, deputy director of The Nicholson Foundation. “By collaborating with NJHF, we are able to provide financial and strategic resources to support the incubation of market-based solutions that often don’t have access to early-stage funding.”

Across the country, the rate of funding for healthcare innovation is growing rapidly. However, funding for projects to improve care for vulnerable populations has been underrepresented in this upsurge. The Innovation Grants Program will help address this imbalance, and represents The Nicholson Foundation’s most recent effort to stimulate a culture of healthcare innovation in New Jersey, and bring cutting-edge services to the healthcare safety net.

Other Nicholson efforts within this area include a new grants program with the Center for Care Innovations—a California-based non-profit—to support innovation within New Jersey’s safety-net hospitals and care delivery systems, and a collaboration with Rutgers University and Health 2.0—a company dedicated to catalyzing change in healthcare. Rutgers and Health 2.0 are working with The Nicholson Foundation on a three-part healthcare innovation competition, in which interdisciplinary teams from the Rutgers community propose solutions to improve the quality, and contain the costs, of healthcare for safety-net populations.

Since the start of 2015, the Foundation has committed more than $1 million to fund these three efforts.

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