Local hospital association launches for-profit venture

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association is financing a new for-profit joint venture to develop and commercialize medical technology and devices.

The hospital association, GDAHA, will team with Kaleidoscope — an innovation and product-design firm based in Cincinnati — to create Ascend Innovations, which will develop new products, technologies and services from a yet-to-be-determined downtown location.

The new company plans to create eight-to-10 new product development positions by the end of the year, said Bryan Bucklew, President and CEO of GDAHA.

Ascend also will collaborate with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s human performance wing, as well as Wright State University and the University of Dayton Research Institute, among others, to produce products and technologies to solve health care challenges.

“With the founding of Ascend, Dayton’s biggest industries — defense and health care — have come together to produce the emerging technologies of the 21st century,” Bucklew said. “Dayton is one of the few places in the world where such an ecosystem of innovation is possible, and now it is happening.”

Dayton Children’s Hospital and Dayton-based hospital systems Premier Health and Kettering Health Network are among the GDAHA members funding the “long-term, multi-million” project, Bucklew said.

“We’re betting on ourselves,” he said. “This joint venture is privately financed with no public dollars. We think this gives us the most flexibility.”

Ascend will have seven board members, with three held by Kaleidoscope employees and four held by GADAHA members.

Four Kaleidoscope employees have been working in GDAHA’s downtown offices since January, and Ascend is narrowing location options in the heart of downtown Dayton, Bucklew said.