The U.S. Food and Drug Administration awarded a $6.6 million, five-year grant to the West Coast Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics — based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC — to help support the continued development of advanced pediatric medical products, it was announced Thursday.

The consortium is one of only five centers across the country to win the grant, according to Children’s Hospital.

“Our mission is to improve health outcomes for our vulnerable pediatric population,” said Dr. Juan Espinoza of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the consortium’s co-director. “To be recognized by the FDA as a center of excellence for pediatric innovation and to serve as a national resource for pediatric device development is both a great honor and great responsibility. We feel fortunate to be working with some of the finest institutions on the West Coast to support and foster collaboration in medical technology development.”

Established in 2011 and first funded by the FDA in 2013, the consortium promotes commercialization and clinical use of pediatric medical device technology. The group fosters networking opportunities, direct and indirect financial support and guidance on issues related to intellectual property, prototyping, engineering, testing, grant writing and clinical trial design — all on the road to getting the devices to market, the group said.

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