Nonprofit dialysis provider Northwest Kidney Centers said it would make a $15 million grant over the next five years to support startup projects within the University of Washington’s Center for Dialysis Innovation.

The center, a collaboration of the UW Medicine Kidney Research Institute and UW Biomaterials/Bioengineering, opened November 2016.

The Center for Dialysis Innovation, led by co-directors Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb and Dr. Buddy Ratner, aims to use biomaterial and bioengineering technologies to transform dialysis care. The center envisions that future dialysis therapy will be free of complications and will completely restore kidney health.

“We are incredibly grateful to Northwest Kidney Centers for the gift to launch the Kidney Research Institute in 2008, and now for such a significant boost to the momentum of the Center for Dialysis Innovation,” said Himmelfarb, a professor at the UW School of Medicine and director of the Kidney Research Institute.

The grant from Northwest Kidney Centers represents 60% of the center’s five-year fundraising target, which totals $25 million.

“We are excited about the Center for Dialysis Innovation because it brings together creative, entrepreneurial, can-do minds from a wide range of fields including nephrology and bioengineering. This team also wants to involve people living with kidney disease to help direct the center’s focus,” said Joyce F. Jackson, Northwest Kidney Centers president and CEO.

“Their aim is to develop revolutionary dialysis technologies, including a wearable dialysis system that is low-cost, and energy- and water-efficient. This would not only sustain users’ lives, but give them more vitality and productivity. This work is desperately needed,” Jackson said.