Watershed Idea Foundry Opens Center of Excellence
Additive manufacturing and R&D facilities in Carlsbad and El Paso expand opportunities for biomedical innovation.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Watershed Idea Foundry, a biomedical incubator and accelerator based in San Antonio, has opened its first additive manufacturing and R&D facilities. The Watershed Center of Excellence is in Carlsbad, California, with research and teaching activities housed within the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
“Additive manufacturing is the future of medical device design,” said Nick Cordaro, CEO of Watershed Idea Foundry. “Watershed is combining its expertise in both arenas to guide entrepreneurs and manufacturers through this innovative transition. These facilities will not only showcase additive manufacturing but also provide best practices, R&D, and training for the future of the industry.”
The Center of Excellence is more than 4,000 square feet of additive manufacturing space with design resources for the organization. Within the facility, entrepreneurs and manufacturers will work with Watershed to develop their products as well as create regulatory-compliant documentation. The Center, using Aconity3D laser powder bed machines, is focused on titanium 6Al4V additive manufacturing for the development of FDA master access files and a quality management system that is robust but efficient to the FDA regulations, ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 14971:2007.
The UTEP activities are an expansion of a long-standing relationship with the Keck Center and the University. The focus of this collaboration is to promote the pursuit and development of research, knowledge, and education in the areas of advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, and Structural Encoding®.
“The expanded relationship is a perfect illustration of how academic institutions can partner with private industry to advance both educational opportunities for students and attract economic development to the area,” said Cordaro. “At UTEP, we will pool our resources and bring in leading experts from many fields to spark the creative minds of these energetic students. There’s no doubt that combining existing expertise with new thinking in this way will lead to truly innovative approaches to medical device design as well as many other collateral uses.”
This is just the first expansion for Watershed. Through its founder Fountainhead Investment Partners, Watershed is beginning a site selection process for its main campus. This facility will provide office space for companies in the Watershed incubator or accelerator programs as well as Fountainhead portfolio companies. The main campus is projected to be 10 times the size of the Carlsbad location and will include high volume additive manufacturing based on the perfected process controls developed within the Carlsbad facility, as well as full regulatory compliance implementations for the organization and other Fountainhead portfolio companies.
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