Partners offers $1 million in innovation grants to employees

Partners HealthCare, as it steps up efforts to commercialize research done at its labs and hospitals, is offering up to $1 million in grants for employees who come up with promising ideas for new drugs, devices and other inventions that have the potential to improve patient care.

The grants, up to $100,000 each, are open not just to researchers, but to anyone in Partners’ workforce of 64,000 who has a good idea. The small sum is intended to help early-stage ideas get off the ground.

“This funding is aimed at making an even stronger connection between the innovative ideas within our health care system and Boston’s biotech and life sciences industry, which can bring those ideas to life,” Dr. Anne Klibanski, chief academic officer, said in a news release.

Partners, with a research budget of $1.5 billion, and has been working to increase the deals it does with the life sciences industry, including by licensing technology and spinning off companies.

This is the second round of so-called innovation grants for Partners, the state’s largest network of doctors and hospitals, which includes Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals. The company awarded $1 million in grants in April 2014 to doctors and scientists offering ideas for a new diagnostic tool for infectious diseases, a new treatment for kidney disease, and other new treatments and devices.

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.