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SHIFT Award: Small Businesses Helping Investigators to Fuel the Translation of Scientific Discoverie

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Program/Year: SBIR / 2011
Solicitation Number: PA-10-122
Release Date: March 5, 2011
Open Date: March 5, 2011
Close Date: January 8, 2013
PA-10-122: SHIFT Award: Small Businesses Helping Investigators to Fuel the Translation of Scientific Discoveries

1. Research Objectives

The primary objectives of the SHIFT SBIR initiative are to foster research that is translational in nature and to transform academic scientific discoveries into commercial products and services. A major feature of the SHIFT program includes the opportunity for SBCs to hire skilled academic investigators (e.g., senior postdoctoral fellow, research associate, engineer or faculty) to be a Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) on an SBIR grant. The PD/PI must bring extensive research knowledge, skills and demonstrated abilities (e.g., publications, patents, and copyrights) to the SBC.

Academic researchers can be a driving force for new products and services in a small business concern (SBC). A SHIFT SBIR grant may enable an SBC to increase both its scientific research staff and its core competencies.   The PD/PI may also facilitate SBC licensing of intellectual property (IP) from the PD/PI’s prior academic institutions, promote collaboration opportunities with academic investigators, and enable better access to academic resources. The SBC is responsible for assuring that the SBC is able to meet the research goals submitted in its application, including addressing appropriate access to any technology and/or IP from relevant IP owners (e.g., IP from the PD/PI’s previous institution).Note that the authorizing legislation for the SBIR program (Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982) provides for retention by an SBC of the rights to data generated by the SBC in the performance of an SBIR award.

Examples of potential projects include, but are not limited to the topics listed below.

Note: These topics are not intended to represent an exhaustive list. The potential projects for research and development (R&D) are as extensive as the missions of the ICs participating in the SHIFT FOA.  Therefore, applicants are encouraged to contact program staff listed in Section VIII to discuss their R&D ideas.

  • Applying opportunities in genomics and other high throughput technologies to understand fundamental biology, and to uncover the causes of specific diseases
  • Translating basic science discoveries into new and better treatments
  • Development of diagnostics, preventative strategies and therapeutic tools
  • Development and clinical evaluation of biomarkers for alcohol exposure and alcohol-induced tissue injury
  • Therapeutic development for alcoholism treatment
  • Diagnostic assessment and treatment of alcohol use disorders and comorbidity
  • Alcohol biosensors and data analysis systems
  • Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and alcohol-related birth defects
  • Minimal dose post-exposure vaccine for rabies
  • Immunotherapy to kill HIV-infected cells
  • Asthma therapeutic vaccine
  • Novel antifibrotic therapies for progressive liver failure
  • Diagnostic measurement devices or methods for assessment of urinary leakage and incontinence
  • Therapeutics for diabetic wound healing
  • Pediatric formulations
  • Robust diagnostic biosensors for infants
  • mHealth tools for assessing and addressing health in children and families
  • Wearable diagnostic and therapeutic devices for physiologic monitoring and interventions
  • Wearable biosensors for persons with genetic sensitivity to environmental factors
  • Therapeutic interventions for persons with physical and developmental disabilities
  • Advancement of novel botanical therapies for effective symptom management of non-life-threatening conditions
  • Development of interactive technologies to improve and expand delivery of mind/body interventions
  • Discovery of improved methodology for the characterization of plants and their secondary metabolites
  • Development of standardized, objective methods to assess patient adherence to specific CAM treatment interventions;
  • Development of devices/tools to assess consistency and fidelity of practitioner approaches and other aspects of protocol implementation
  • Virtual settings or online tools for clinician training and implementation of fidelity monitors
  • Development and validation of enhanced patient-reported outcome assessment tools for CAM (e.g. new user (clinician, researcher, and/or patient/study volunteer)–friendly interfaces, methods to improve compatibility with research and health informatics systems currently in use)
  • Development of measurement tools for assessing expectancy for effects of CAM mind-body medicine, acupuncture, and manual therapy interventions
  • Novel technologies that enhance/track/monitor “real time” adherence to drug abuse (and HIV+) treatment regimens
  • Technology to improve the efficacy of substance abuse treatment, treatment adherence, and reduce recidivism among criminally-involved patients
  • Mobile and/or  internet technology based treatment interventions to augment traditional substance use disorder (SUD) treatments and their outcome
  • Technologies and/or devices to boost medication adherence for SUD patients
  • Technology-based treatment platforms to standardize interventions and to make them more community-friendly
  • Integrate item response theory and computer adaptive testing in measures of addiction liability.
  • Brief screening tools to assess relapse risks in and out drug treatment settings
  • Use of the internet to link community based outreach and HIV testing services to facilitate access by drug users and their sex partners in neighborhood settings.
  • Development of novel therapeutics, diagnostics, and devices for treating heart, lung, blood and sleep diseases and disorders
  • New or improved measures, analytical methods, and instruments for gene expression in individuals with heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and diseases
  • Health-care systems and outcomes research, including development of new quality measures for evidence-based heart, lung, blood, and sleep health care
  • Models of behavior modification and other approaches to behavior change related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases and disorders
  • Devices and technologies to prevent cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury
  • Vaccines for the prevention or treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases
  • Non-invasive methods to diagnose DVT and PE
  • Technologies and strategies to advance cellular therapies for heart, lung and non-malignant blood diseases
  • Therapies to treat hematologic diseases and cytopenic states
  • Technologies for in vitro reduction, inactivation or removal of microorganisms and other infectious moieties from blood, blood components, and plasma derivatives
  • Development of products, technologies and services to diagnose, treat and/or prevent skin and rheumatic diseases, muscle disorders, and joint and bone diseases

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.