Global Health Innovation Campus
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
INTRODUCTION: THE FUTURE
The impact and rate of successful implementation of innovative strategies, products and ideas in large U.S. non-profits, corporations and foundations is not encouraging. The American Red Cross raised $500 million to build houses in Haiti and only built 6 homes in 5 years. New Story Charity (NSC) launched in Silicon Valley on June 1, 2015 and built 100 homes in Haiti in 88 days for $600,000. Brett Hagler, the founder of New Story Charity, moved from Georgia to Silicon Valley because he was not able to generate any interest in Atlanta for his idea for funding and building new communities in Haiti and other countries.
In U.S. corporations, 1 out of every 100 innovative ideas is considered, 1 out of 10 of those ideas is funded and 1 out of 10 of the ideas that are funded are successfully commercialized. In Silicon Valley, young entrepreneurs present hundreds of new innovative ideas that receive venture funding and turn into companies that transform international markets, economies and communities every single day.
Over the last decade, the Gates Foundation has selected 100 companies or nonprofits in public health annually and invested $100,000 in each of these organizations. The foundation has then invested an additional $1 million in the top 20 (of the 100) enterprises selected. Tragically, the resulting impact in sanitation, clean water, vaccines/antivirals and other areas of public health has been disappointing. In fact, the foundation has changed the measurement of success in these investments from "curing disease" to "moving science forward". The next generation of billionaire technology philanthropists is determined to attach these challenges in a much more scalable and sustainable way through partnerships at the local community level.
The millennials, the largest generation in U.S. history, make purchasing and investment decisions, not only based upon quality, price or brand loyalty, but social impact at the local community level. This generation is focused on the impact, social conscience, accountability and transparency of organizations. Future social trends, economic forces, scientific research, engineering focus, corporate investment, and philanthropic giving will be driven by this new heterodox, impact driven, and globally oriented social conscience. The purpose of this summary, the embedded links and appendices is to explain why the state of Georgia is in a unique position to create a global innovation campus to take advantage of these trends and identify, attract, recruit and retain the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to address the greatest domestic and global health challenges.
The greatest challenges in global public health are clean water, malnutrition, malaria, low birth weight babies and tuberculosis.
The greatest challenges in the U.S. healthcare system are:
Inadequate incentives (or deterrents) to improve quality or reduce costs
Regulatory restrictions and reimbursement risks
Inability to leverage technology such as telemedicine to move healthcare out of hospitals and doctor’s offices and into patient’s homes and/or work environments
Ineffective technology transfer policies and strategies in U.S. universities
Not managing health and wellness effectively - “disease-care” vs. “healthcare”
Inadequate entrepreneurial ecosystems that are able to properly assist inventors, innovators, and investors in creating scalable and sustainable enterprises in the marketplace
The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th in healthcare quality and 28th in life expectancy. Yet, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services our National Healthcare Expenditure is projected to hit $3.207 trillion in 2015, which is equivalent to the world's sixth largest national economy. The U.S. population is almost 320 million, which means 2015 will be the first year that healthcare spending will reach $10,000 per person. Tragically, the quality of care is not improving relative to that investment. For example, there are over 100,000 wrongful deaths in U.S. hospitals each year.
As a result of the Gates/Buffett challenge, U.S. billionaires have committed to give away $700 billion in the next generation and $250 billion of that will be directed toward healthcare. There is a momentous opportunity to create a campus to bring together these billionaires, the heads of their family offices and their foundations to promulgate (through an annual summit and other events/activities) the most innovative breakthroughs in the next generation of technologies, treatments and cures (in the for profit and nonprofit context) to address chronic disease, other domestic challenges (including prevention) and the leading international causes of morbidity.
Bill Gates has often said that the two greatest challenges in global health are (1) a lack of investment in innovation and (2) a lack of access to the solutions that innovation creates. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that it takes 17 years for best practices to become common practice in the U.S. healthcare system. In 2004, while living and working in Silicon Valley, Ross Mason created HINRI (The High Impact Network of Responsible Innovators - www.hinri.org) to make Georgia a national and international leader in health innovation by solving these two problems.
SOLUTION: GLOBAL HEALTH INNOVATION CAMPUS
The Global Health Innovation campus would focus on global, public, corporate and community health and include:
A non-profit accelerator focused on social enterprise companies that address global health problems in a sustainable way
A for-profit incubator filled with companies with solutions for chronic diseases
A center to centralize the technology transfer and commercialization of the intellectual property being created by the Centers for Disease Control
Facilities for relevant health-related departments from the State of Georgia and Georgia Tech, Emory, Georgia State, Augusta University, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Georgia
Office facilities for several of the world’s leading public health nonprofits, foundations (satellite offices), and corporate innovation divisions focused on solving the leading causes of death in the developing world and chronic disease in the developed world
A site that provides satellite offices for the leading venture capital, private equity, angel investment and impact investing funds that are focused on healthcare
A centralized location to drive innovative clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device and telehealth industries to address chronic disease in the Georgia population starting with the free clinic network (325,000 people), the University System of Georgia (250,000 people), the Georgia State Health Benefit Plan (660,000 people) and the Atlanta Committee for Progress. In total, these groups represent more than 3 million people and will allow us to create the nation’s premier telemedicine, charity care and clinical trial network, which will attract massive corporate and philanthropic investment into the state of Georgia and dramatically improve our healthcare outcomes
A digital hospital/clinic organized around specialties/healthcare delivery platform that focuses on implementing cutting edge translational research and the next generation of technologies, treatments and cures for veterans and the general population
HINRI and our partners are in discussions with a number of organizations including the University System of the State of Georgia to create a national and global health innovation campus with for-profit and nonprofit incubators on the same campus.
Other successful examples that have components of this kind of campus include: Silicon Wadi in Israel, the Skolkovo Innovation Center outside of Moscow, the $1.2 billion+ investment at the University of Central Florida (UCF) to create a medical school and medical tourism destination next to Disney World, the MassChallenge in Boston and the Incubation Campus Wolfsburg in Germany.
Even though the U.S. leads the world in venture capital investment and the commercialization of new technologies, we are failing to transform a terribly broken healthcare system. As Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Hollywood so poignantly demonstrate, it takes a domain-focused, branded ecosystem to attract the strategic capital and leading entrepreneurs to truly create transformative innovation. Georgia has the unique dual distinction of having (1) the problem of being a national leader in mortality rates from chronic disease and (2) the solution of existing leadership in:
global health through the CDC and NGOs (non-government organizations)
health information technology
public, non-profit and telehealth infrastructure
internet, mobile and fiber networks
global payment, financial exchange, fintech and internet security industries
logistics and transportation infrastructure
media and entertainment - that can be used for health literacy and education
health related academic research
international demographics and human/civil rights history and institutions
to uniquely position the metro Atlanta area to be the global leader in health innovation through health related venture capital, philanthropy and impact investing.
The critical missing element, for most of Georgia’s history, has been vision and bold, innovative leadership. Georgia is a national leader in the incidence of third world healthcare demographics and death from chronic disease. The Buffett/Gates Challenge means that U.S. billionaires will give away $700 billion in the next generation and $250 billion of that amount will be donated in healthcare. The metro Atlanta area and the state of Georgia will not be able to compete with Silicon Valley in venture capital in my lifetime but we can become the global leader in health related impact investing, social enterprise and venture philanthropy in the next decade and receive the vast majority of that $250 billion allocation.
We have an opportunity to address the healthcare challenges in Georgia and become a national and international healthcare catalyst. A global health innovation campus will identify, recruit, attract, retain and empower innovators, social entrepreneurs and impact investors. This campus ecosystem will have a scalable and sustainable impact on individuals, companies and communities across the globe by creating, marketing and disseminating the next generation of technologies, treatments and cures to serve and save lives all over the face of the earth.