LOWELL, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) announces its fifth annual M2D2 $100K Challenge 2016, a nationwide competition that showcases the innovative ideas of early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies.

“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs gain valuable services needed during the tenuous stages of early product development,” said Stephen McCarthy, UMass Lowell professor and co-director of M2D2. “Expert advice, mentoring and access to facilities can be the difference between failure and success. We hope startups across the U.S. will apply to receive these valuable services.”

M2D2 assists entrepreneurs in the medical device and biotech sector with all aspects of the process of moving new products from concept to the marketplace. It is a joint venture of UMass Worcester, which provides medical expertise and assistance with clinical trials, and UMass Lowell, which offers expertise in business and plastics engineering. UMass Lowell is also home to M2D2’s business incubator, which was expanded in 2015 to serve even more client companies. Since it was founded in 2007, M2D2 has worked with more than 100 client companies, which in turn have secured more than $40 million in external funding for their ventures.

Sponsors of this year’s M2D2 Challenge have donated a total of $100,000 in services for the winning companies. The sponsors are BD (Becton Dickinson and Company), Boston Scientific, MPR Product Development, Mintz Levin, Omni Components and R&Q (Regulatory & Quality Solutions). Companies selected will receive use of facility, lab and meeting space as well as engineering, legal, regulatory, clinical and business services.

“To develop new solutions to the challenges facing health-care delivery, it will take innovation and partnership; participating in the M2D2 $100K Challenge provides both for BD,” said Albert Lauritano, BD’s director of strategic technology partnerships. “We get to collaborate with startup entrepreneurs and their cutting-edge technologies by providing BD’s global market and product development expertise. It is a winning combination for the startup, BD and ultimately, the health-care system.”

“We were excited about the prize awarded to us through the M2D2 competition. The award has increased the profile of our project nationally and has allowed us to meet milestones more quickly. Also, it was a great personal achievement for our small team, which has worked on this project relentlessly,” said Renee Carder of PixelExx, a past participant in the M2D2 Challenge.

Finalists selected in the competition will present before a panel of expert judges at UMass Lowell on March 23.

Companies interested in competing in the M2D2 $100K Challenge 2016 should submit an application by Friday, Jan. 29. Finalists will be announced March 2 and winners on April 6. Full details on the competition are available at: http://bit.ly/100KChallengeM2D2.