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The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) has successfully collaborated with industry partners and supplied contracted services for more than two decades. A sampling of these partners is listed below. RST is always seeking to expand and enhance the list of external partners we work with. Please reach out to Patricia Karg ( with any inquiries concerning opportunities in these areas.

RST Industry Partnerships:

RST collaborates with industry partners to perform research and development for assistive and rehabilitation products and services—including product design and development, laboratory testing, clinical evaluation, human factors and usability assessments, best practice development, and training programs.

These collaborations can be supported by several mechanisms that most frequently involve either direct payment for services or federal grant dollars awarded through the NIDILRR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which funds research and development for small businesses interested in commercializing new technologies. Funding typically ranges from $150,000 to $1 million, depending on the phase of development and grant specifications. RST’s IMPACT Center offers industry partners the guidance and support needed to pursue these funding streams. Additional information and contact details can be found on the IMPACT webpage.

RST Contracted Services:

RST has a rich history of providing product development and evaluation services for manufacturers, suppliers, third-party payers, and foundations. Services include development, laboratory testing, and clinical evaluation of assistive and rehabilitation products.

Examples of products evaluated for performance and durability:

  • Wheelchair Testing (ISO 7176 and RESNA WC-1/WC-2)
  • Wheelchair Caster Testing (ISO 7176-32)
  • Wheelchair Cushion Testing (ISO 16840 and RESNA WC-3)
  • Office Chair Testing
  • Mattress Testing (RESNA SS-1)
  • Operating Room Overlay Testing
  • Wheelchair Drive Wheels and Caster Rolling Resistance Testing

Companies/organizations we have worked with:

  • Hillrom
  • Invacare
  • Permobil
  • Arjo
  • Turncare
  • Dabir Surfaces
  • ROHO
  • VGM/US Rehab
  • Wheels for Humanity​
  • Anthros
  • Tamarack
  • Game Changer Technologies
  • ASP Global
  • Rolapal
  • Supracor
  • USCAR (US Council for Automotive Research)
  • Pratt Miller Engineering