As faculty members are being considered for promotion, they compile their CVs, including their publications and lists of professional activities, to paint a holistic picture of their academic achievements. But for some Stanford faculty, who live and work in the heart of Silicon Valley amid its booming tech industry, those quotidian check boxes don’t capture their whole story. That’s why a group of professors in the Department of Medicine are developing an “innovator’s portfolio,” much like an artist’s portfolio, which showcases technologies that a faculty member has piloted.
Ryan Van Wert, MD, clinical assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, was one of the first faculty members to try filling in the innovator’s portfolio. His portfolio includes Vynca, a company he founded to manage advance directive documentation.
Van Wert credits Paul J. Wang, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine, with the success of the innovator’s portfolio.
“There was a recognized need for an environment and training pathway for faculty to become innovators,” Wang says.
“It was equally recognized that innovation as an endeavor is different than typical academic pursuits. But we wanted to go deeper than just encouraging faculty to say ‘I patented X,’” Wang adds.
The innovator’s portfolio is intended to capture what the impact of that patent is — for example, how many patients are affected by the technology, how it’s related to new diagnoses and treatments, whether it decreases health care costs, and if it generates additional intellectual property.