Thinking Beyond NIH for Health-Related SBIR/STTR Funding

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When considering federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding for health-related technology development, it is often helpful to apply a holistic and broad mindset to find an agency that will fund your research.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are often the most-logical fit for health-related SBIR/STTR dollars. However, thinking broadly about each agency’s mission can help you uncover health-related technology development dollars in places you might not normally expect.

The da Vinci® Surgical System for robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery, for example, was first funded by Army SBIR to aid the warfighter. This robot helped offsite doctors perform surgery on soldiers in remote areas. It then received several larger follow-on investments by the NIH for further commercial development with potential applications in hospitals across the country.

Here is an overview of additional agencies, their solicitations, and program manager contact information to help you get started. Please pay attention to the Grant or Contract column. Typically, contracting agencies will issue specific calls for a technology, so a topic fit is extremely important. At granting agencies, topics or areas of emphasis are often broader, and these agencies frequently allow researcher-initiated ideas (meaning you propose your innovative idea to the government for funding)!

We tried to directly link to an agency’s health-related solicitation if possible, but sometimes agencies do not issue specific solicitations about health. Small businesses should make use of the SBIR.gov search feature to check topics across all open solicitations.

You are encouraged to contact program managers. For most of the agencies, speaking with a program manager is the best way to receive application specific advice. If you would like to meet these program managers in person, plan to attend the National SBIR/STTR Conference. Typically held annually in the spring or early summer in the Washington, DC region, this conference will give you the opportunity to conduct one-on-one meetings with SBIR/STTR program managers in several different agencies.

Remember, if small businesses submit similar proposals to different agencies, they may only accept ONE award to carry out the research. Small businesses cannot be funded by two agencies for the same research topic proposal.

For HHS or NIH SBIR/STTR specific questions, please email sbir@od.nih.gov!

Keywords: health, biomedical, issue engineering, imaging technologies, diagnostic assays, drug delivery platforms, health research tools and technologies, pharmaceutical manufacturing, synthetic biology, smart health, military community health, neurotechnology, human-machine interface, human performance, infectious disease, synthetic biology programs, chemical and biological agents, Circadian rhythm devices, battlefield ultrasound, PTSD monitors, Food Science and Nutrition, Rural and Community Development, social, behavioral, and mental health of students, electronic health records.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
National Institutes of Health

NIH SBIR/STTR http://sbir.nih.gov

$982 M (SBIR and STTR FY17)

The majority of NIH SBIR/STTR awards are researcher-initiated ideas that are proposed through the SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitations. This allows small businesses to propose their idea to NIH as long as it falls within NIH’s mission.

Please see the 2017 Program Descriptions and Research Topics for HHS’ research priority areas.

Both

~95% Grants
~5% Contracts

All SBIR/STTR Grant and Contract Solicitation(s):
https://sbir.nih.gov/funding

Investigator-Initiated Omnibus Solicitations (Grants):
SBIR (PA-17-302)
STTR (PA-17-303)

Three standard due dates:
Sept 5, Jan 5, Apr 5

HHS Receipt Date and Review Schedule

Targeted FOAs (Grants): https://sbir.nih.gov/funding#targeted

Contract Solicitation
(once a year – issued in the fall):
https://sbir.nih.gov/funding#phased1

Matthew Portnoy
301-435-2688
sbir@od.nih.gov
Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC SBIR
$10M
Both HHS SBIR Omnibus Grant and Contract Solicitation (see above) Sean David Griffiths
404-639-4641
sqg3@cdc.gov
Administration for Community Living ACL Website
$3M
Grants HHS SBIR Omnibus Grant Solicitation (see above) Brian Bard
brian.bard@acl.hhs.gov
Food and Drug Administration FDA SBIR
$1.5M
Grants HHS SBIR Omnibus Grant Solicitation (see above) Kimberly Pendleton Chew
240-402-7610
kimberly.pendleton@fda.hhs.gov
         
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
National Science Foundation Biological Technologies (BT)

Smart Health (SH) and Biomedical (BM) Technologies

Budget:
Approximately 20% of the broad portfolio is for health-related technology, so approximately $34M

NSF generally focuses on proof-of-concept of early-stage technologies and therefore does NOT support pre-clinical or clinical-stage drug candidates or medical devices. Areas supported by NSF include tissue engineering, imaging technologies, diagnostic assays, drug delivery platforms, health research tools and technologies, pharmaceutical manufacturing, synthetic biology, and smart health. Proposers may find support at the NSF to develop a platform technology and also pursue support at the NIH to apply the platform to a specific disease state.
Grants SBIR/STTR Funding Solicitations

Ruth Shuman
Biological Technologies (BT)
(703) 292-2160
rshuman@nsf.gov
 

Jesus Soriano
Smart Health (SH) and Biomedical (BM) Technologies
(703) 292-7795
jsoriano@nsf.gov

All Contacts:
http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/contact.jsp

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES CONTRACTS SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
Defense Health Program

Force Health Protection and Readiness Divisions

$57.1M (SBIR and STTR FY15)

Responsible for aadvancing collaborative, innovative medical research and development to improve military community health and save lives on and off the battlefield.

Contracts

DoD SBIR/STTR Solicitations
(https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/)
Defense Health Program (DHP)
COL Matthew Hepburn, M.D.
703-681-8269
matthew.j.hepburn.mil@mail.mil
DARPA Biological Technologies Office (BTO)

BTO is responsible for all neurotechnology, human-machine interface, human performance, infectious disease, and synthetic biology programs within DoD.
Contracts Topics
THoR Call for Proposals

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Susan Nichols
571-218-4922
susan.nichols@darpa.mil
 


Biological Technologies Office Staff

Chemical and Biological Defense CBD SBIR
CBD STTR

Budget for CBD
SBIR: $13M;
STTR: $2M annually

Providing innovative technologies for the warfighter to counter chemical and biological agents; specifically, medical pre-treatments (vaccines); therapeutics (biological and chemical countermeasures); and diagnostics, detection and disease surveillance
Contracts

Typically one SBIR and one STTR solicitation annually.

Approximately 5-10 SBIR topics and 1-2 STTR topics, annually with ~50% of the topics addressing medical Science & Technology (S&T) and 50% addressing Physical S&T applications.

Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD)
Larry Pollack
703-767-3307
Lawrence.p.pollack2.civ@mail.mil

www.cbdsbir.com
Army

Health-related topics for both SBIR and STTR are occasionally sourced from MRMC (Army Medical Research and Materiel Command) and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Command (NSRDEC) and the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC).



The topics range from vaccines, to Circadian rhythm devices, battlefield ultrasound, to PTSD monitors, etc.

Contracts --

Army
SBIR:
John Smith
443-345-2133
michael.j.smith257.civ@mail.mil
 


MRMC
James Myers
james.r.myers38.civ@mail.mil

STTR:
Bradley E. Guay
919-549-4258
bradley.e.guay.civ@mail.mil

Navy Occasionally will issue health-related solicitations. Check the Navy SBIR Contracts -- Navy
Bob Smith
703-696-7954
Robert.L.Smith6@navy.mil
US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
US Department of Agriculture

USDA SBIR

Budget for USDA SBIR program is about $20M per year

Food Science and Nutrition
The program will fund programs or projects related to:

1) Understanding the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of food;
2) Food processing and packing methods that improve the quality and nutritional value of foods
3) Increasing the consumption of healthy foods and reducing childhood obesity
4) Improved nutrition education to reduce incidence of childhood obesity

Rural and Community Development
This program is focused on the innovative application of technology to address critical problems facing people in rural areas.  One area that is supported is improved health care delivery where lack of IT infrastructure or long distances present unique challenges for rural residents.

Grants

Small Business Innovation Research Program

– Phase I

Jodi Williams
202-720-6145
jwilliams@nifa.usda.gov

 
Brent Elrod
202-690-3468
belrod@nifa.usda.gov

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
Department of Education ED SBIR

Overall budget:
$1,050,000

ED SBIR supports education technology learning products, including products focusing on the social, behavioral, and mental health of students, with the ultimate goal to support academic learning or other meaningful educational outcomes.
Contracts The ED/IES SBIR 2016 program solicitations will likely be released in late 2015, with the proposal submission deadline in early 2016.

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sbir/applicant.html
Edward Metz
(202) 208-1983
edward.metz@ed.gov
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
NASA Human Research Program (HRP)

Delevops human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration, and to ensure safe and productive human spaceflight. The Human Research Roadmap (http://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov) describes the Program’s research activities that are intended to address the needs of human space exploration.
Contracts NASA SBIR/STTR Solicitation
http://sbir.nasa.gov/
Barbara Corbin
281-483-6215
barbara.j.corbin@nasa.gov
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST)
AGENCY HEALTH-RELATED MISSION SPACE/ DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES GRANT OR CONTRACT SOLICITATIONS PROGRAM CONTACT
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Health-related subtopics vary each year, but past subtopics have included diagnostic medical tools & electronic health records. Grants One solicitation per year available on grants.gov Mary Clague
301-975-4188
mary.clague@nist.gov

 

Last Updated on September 11, 2015

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