The NIH and other research sponsors provide significant funding to support the development of new technologies to support biomedical and behavioral research, through a variety of grant mechanisms, including NIH’s R01, R21, P01, P41, and P50 basic research grants. This investment has resulted in the development of innovative technologies, including hardware (e.g., instruments, devices, etc.), software (e.g., computational models, informatics tools, data analytic methods, etc.) and wetware (e.g., cell-free assays, bioactive agents, imaging probes, etc.). Although these technologies are often utilized by their developers, their potential for more widespread use and adoption by the broad research community -through commercialization- often goes unrealized. Moreover, support to maintain and update technologies in non-commercial settings is difficult to obtain.
In contrast, tools that are commercially available need to be sturdy and easy to use, and commercial success often provides the means for continued maintenance and improvements of the underlying technology. This FOA is intended to help move useful technologies from non-commercial laboratories into the commercial marketplace by inviting SBIR grant applications from small businesses for further development of such technologies that are relevant to the missions of the sponsoring NIH institutes, centers and offices. The supported research and development will likely include making the tools more robust, efficient and easy to use, and will likely require close collaboration between the original developers of these technologies and SBCs. These partnerships may be accomplished in any of a number of ways, including the use of multiple Program Directors/Principal Investigators.
This FOA encourages SBIR grant applications to commercially develop tools of any type relevant to the mission of one or more of the participating NIH institutes, centers and offices.