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Katya Hill with student in CSD Lab

New technologies are vital elements of innovation in rehabilitation science. Advancements in areas such as information and communication, activity monitoring, transportation, physiologic sensing, and robotics, among others, drive better outcomes, improve efficiency, and lower costs. SHRS is a leader among its peers when it comes to developing and translating key technologies that advance innovation in rehabilitation science. See statistics below. These accomplishments are a natural extension of SHRS' highly successful and extensive applied research activities. We aim to accelerate the pace of innovation in rehabilitation to have even greater positive impact on the lives of people served by SHRS disciplines.

Participate in the Monthly SHRS Innovation Seminar Series

We welcome Pitt faculty, staff and students to attend the seminar as well as present their work. Learn more.

Join the SHRS Innovation Challenge

Working with the University’s Innovation Institute, SHRS' innovation challenge allows faculty, staff and students to compete for funds to assist with the translation of technology. The challenge is a multi-step process involving an educational program and development activities. We are leveraging the knowledge and experience of Pitt’s Innovation Institute to conduct the challenge.


Who can apply? 

Open to faculty, post doctoral and graduate students, and staff: 

  • Working on University of Pittsburgh intellectual property in the School of the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences  
  • Interested in learning and participating in commercialization of university technology discoveries  

Finalists will compete for an award total of now $100,000. (First Place: $50,000 | 2nd Place: $30,000 | Third Place: $20,000)

Accepted applicants (finalists) will participate in the Pitt SHRS I-Corps Hub Short Course (January 9 – 31, 2024).   

Apply now for the 2024 SHRS Innovation Challenge! The deadline to apply is November 22, 2023.

Need more details? View application information here or email Dave Brienza.

Congratulations to the previous teams that won the Innovation Challenge and took away top prizes of $10,000 each:

2022 Winners

  • Saver — A wheelchair designed to fit into standard vehicles.
    • PI: Rory Cooper, PhD
    • EL: Brandon Daveler; Chang Dae Lee
    • M: Robert Huemmrich
  • Mobius — Improving senior’s ability to stay in their homes safely.
    • PI: David Brienza, PhD
    • EL: Paulina Villacreces; Alexandra Delazio; Jennifer McCartney
    • M: Ian Magazine

2021 Winners

The first SHRS Innovation Challenge took place virtually on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Read the wrap-up of SHRS' First Innovation Challenge here.

2020 Winners

SHRS Innovation by the Numbers (2013 - 2023):

  • Number of Start-Ups with a Lead Inventor from SHRS: 12
  • Number of Start-Ups with at least one Inventor from SHRS: 15
  • Number of U.S. Issued Patents with a Lead Inventor from SHRS: 30
  • ​Number of U.S. Issued Patents with at least one Inventor from SHRS: 47