Innovation


teacher helping elderly mci student with activity

The Innovation Accelerator provides unique opportunities for Members and Care Partners to directly engage with efforts to improve their situation through participating in co-designing and research.

With the aim of speeding up development, testing, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the Innovation Accelerator brings people with MCI and their families together with researchers, clinicians, and industry to define problems and develop innovative solutions, strategies, and methodologies through a culture of collaboration. The Innovation Accelerator acts as a bridge to connect academic, clinical and student researchers with people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and their Care Partners to collaborate on projects that aim to improve the quality of life of those affected by MCI and increase independence.

The Innovation Accelerator at the Cognitive Empowerment Program works to provide answers to those nagging, "I wish there was a way that I could…," problem areas that those coping with MCI and their Care Partners may find themselves dealing with in everyday life. 

Our goal is developing and maintaining a growing repository of knowledge surrounding mild cognitive impairment to build on previous research to amplify the field’s findings, decreasing the research burden of those with MCI and their Care Partners over time.

The Innovation Accelerator seeks to expand research activities through community and industry involvement. We also award $150,000 in seed grants to those investigating issues around MCI each year. Seed grant awardees, along with others in the field, present their progress at the annual symposium the Innovation Accelerator held each year.

Living Laboratory, Innovation Accelerator Process

This is a living lab, while the priority is meeting the needs of the current cohort of Members who are engaged in the program. We will also be learning while doing, and incorporating our lessons into the program on an ongoing basis.

Innovation Accelerator Activities


  1. Co-Design with Members - Include people with MCI and their Care Partners to define problems and innovate solutions.
  2. Industry Engagement - Attract industry to collaborate on solutions to improve the quality of life for with MCI.
  3. Seed Grants - The Innovation Accelerator funds 150,000 per year in selected research to impact the lives of people with MCI. Selection is based on stakeholder involvement, composition and diversity of the research team, and the potential for impact on the field and individuals with MCI and their families.
  4. Course based projects - Classes of graduate students and advanced undergraduates and others have a unique opportunity to work with clinicians, people with MCI and their families to contribute to the Cognitive Empowerment Program by developing new ideas and interventions for therapeutic and home settings that allow people to have safe, joyful and engaged lives. Through this proves students learn specific techniques for finding and evaluating research and will write two initial reports describing the state of the research and a final project applying this work to innovative healthcare designs that improve wellness and the quality, experience and effectiveness of care. The instructors and students work with a clinical and design partners each year to focus on an emerging topics and Member's interests around MCI.
  5. Sharing Lessons Learned and Benchmark best practice - Annual symposium with reports from seed grants and courses and Connect with organizations around the world engaged in similar work.
elderly man and woman talking and smiling at table