Center for Device Innovation

Accelerating development of breakthrough medical devices
Center for Device Innovation
About Us

Accelerating Innovation

The Center for Device Innovation at Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) was founded in 2017 with the mission to significantly impact healthcare by accelerating the development of breakthrough medical technologies.  As a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and the Texas Medical Center, CDI @ TMC is a unique hybrid model for innovation that leverages the great resources of these larger enterprises, but with the speed and agility of an entrepreneurial start-up environment.  The focus is on early-stage concepts with high technical risk, rapidly developing and testing new devices to prove feasibility with faster timelines and capital efficiency.  Technologies that have been successfully de-risked can move into a commercialization pathway within Johnson & Johnson or spin out into a new company.



​Facilities & Resources

  • 25,000 sq. ft. maker space designed for device development
  • Full machine shop with advanced prototyping equipment
  • 60 work benches with private access configurations
  • Separate lab / office space for companies in residence
  • Dedicated labs for tissue testing, chemistry and electronics / mechanical testing
  • 12 private offices and 24 open workstations
  • VR system and visualization space
  • 2 conference rooms
  • Café space

Hybrid Approach

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Development projects led by CDI team

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Seed-stage start-ups supported by CDI

CDI @ TMC has a hybrid portfolio that includes both internal technology projects as well as start-up companies in residence.  The development team has flexibility to engage in new opportunities across a spectrum of different services and needs, including: independent development, collaborative co-development, machining / prototyping services, pre-clinical testing, manufacturing design, and strategic advising.  The current portfolio includes a broad range of initiatives across various clinical spaces and technology platforms aligned with J&J’s medical device areas of interest:

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- cardiovascular (atrial fibrillation)

- neurovascular (stroke)

- oncology (lung cancer)

- orthopedics (osteoarthritis / osteoporosis)

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- general and minimally invasive surgery

- robotics and digital surgery

- obesity / bariatrics

- vision care

Investment Criteria

CDI is always looking for new opportunities to fill development pipeline. The main criteria for evaluating any new IDEA:

IMPACT - significant value proposition for patients / healthcare and market opportunity

DIFFERENTIATION - potential advantages of technology and IP relative to competition

ENGAGEMENT - good utilization of the resources and development capabilities at CDI

ALIGNMENT - clear fit with J&J's areas of interest and longer-term strategy


CDI @ TMC has a dynamic team with a proven track record of success in the medical device industry, and a wide range of expertise and capabilities for front-end development.

Texas Medical Center

The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world, with 60+ member institutions and over 106,000 employees on a 50 million sq. ft. campus.  Each year, the TMC has more 10 million total patient visits, 750,000 ER visits, and 180,000 surgical procedures performed.  With these expansive resources in such proximity, CDI @ TMC has access to a broad range of pre-clinical and clinical facilities for testing and feedback to accelerate development.  CDI @ TMC has established partnerships with several institutions to leverage these resources of the Houston ecosystem.


It Can’t All Be Energy

Early in March, when the Houston azaleas were riotously blooming and the sky was a brilliant spring blue, Billy Cohn had a fretful moment. It was fleeting, of course, because in the zero-to-sixty-in-three-seconds velocity of his life, that was all he had time for. The 56-year-old heart surgeon turned medical device inventor (ninety U.S. patents granted or pending, sixty international!) turned entrepreneur (started six companies!) turned corporate innovation guru (catch his TEDMED talk!) had, over several recent days, attended to his usual businesses while also showing up at a board meeting of the 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgical Society, in Puerto Rico, and the Design to Value Summit, in New Jersey.

The Past, Present & Future of the Artificial Heart

The heart is an incredible muscle. The fist-sized pump circulates 2,000 gallons of blood per day through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. It beats 5 million times a year, every year for a lifetime. We have yet to invent an artificial replacement that can demonstrate the necessary robustness to withstand that level of effort for a few years, let alone a few decades. In fact, success typically has been measured in survival increments of months rather than years.

Q&A: Renowned heart surgeon and inventor to lead innovation center

The Center for Device Innovation, scheduled to open near the Texas Medical Center's main campus in the third quarter of 2017, will be part of an ongoing collaboration between the worldwide health care business and Houston's medical center focusing on a seamless line from idea to market in one location.

Contact Us

Make the Connection

For media inquiries, please contact:
Allie McCormick

For potential collaborations, please contact:
Joanna Nathan

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