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Rick Hansen Institute joins innovative network of venture philanthropies

Vancouver, 8 May 2015 – Rick Hansen Institute has become a participating organization of The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN), a program of FasterCures,bringing the total number of venture philanthropies in TRAIN to 80.

FasterCures established TRAIN in 2005 to connect disruptive innovators in the disease research space with the vital resources, tools and relationships to catalyze development of new therapies and cures. Through the network, innovation in one disease area is translated to another in order to achieve treatment breakthroughs for all.

Said Bill Barrable, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute: “I am excited that RHI has been selected to become a participating organization of TRAIN. At its foundation, RHI is a network of SCI researchers, clinicians, people with SCI and other relevant stakeholders. However, I believe that RHI can make more progress towards a world without paralysis after SCI if we connect to other networks in order to share best practices and exchange ideas with organizations focused on other health conditions. By joining TRAIN, we have truly become a network of networks.

“I look forward to sharing RHI’s model for moving research and knowledge into practice, which we call Praxis, with the other TRAIN organizations, as well as gaining new and innovative ideas to help RHI de-risk the translation and commercialization of research for SCI.”

Collectively, TRAIN participants fund nearly $1 billion in medical research annually, and more than three-quarters of them are partnering with biopharmaceutical companies to advance their collective goal of getting new and better treatments to patients faster. While the organizations that participate in TRAIN are individually unique, they all demonstrate an ongoing commitment to accountability, collaboration, research effectiveness, resource building and patient centeredness.

“TRAIN’s patient-driven foundations are applying entrepreneurial philanthropy to de-risk translation and commercialization of research in their respective disease areas, and are responsible for some of the most transformative ideas in R&D,” said Kristin Schneeman, program director at FasterCures.

See a list of all participating organizations


FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is an "action tank" driven by a singular goal—to save lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system. We have a number of laser-focused, high-impact programmatic initiatives that allow us to educate stakeholders about the barriers, amplify solutions to pave the way to progress, and create opportunities for key leaders to come together and get things done.


The Rick Hansen Institute is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. It does this by leading the collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and service providers across Canada and internationally. RHI has matched leadership and research collaboration with government funding to facilitate one of the largest interdisciplinary spinal cord injury research programs in the world.

For more information, contact:
John Barclay
Manager, Commercialization & Industry Relations
Tel: 604-827-1676