Formula for Innovation: People + Ideas + Time

In these times of tight budgets and rapidly evolving science, we must consider new ways to invest biomedical research dollars to achieve maximum impact—to turn scientific discoveries into better health as swiftly as possible. We do this by thinking strategically about the areas of research that we support, as well as the process by which we fund that research. …. We often hear from investigators at all career stages that they spend a significant portion of their careers writing grant applications, consuming precious time that could otherwise be spent conducting research. …. Continue reading

From Lab Bench to Bedside: Accelerating the Commercialization of Biomedical Innovations

Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). — We are delighted to announce a new collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to empower entrepreneurial scientists and advance the Lab-to-Market priorities set forth in the President’s Management Agenda. The Federal government invests over $130 billion on research and development (R&D) each year, and the President’s 2015 budget supports a sustained commitment to accelerate the transfer of promising Federally-funded technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. Continue reading

What’s New with NIH’s Small Business Research Programs?

Since the last time I’ve written about our small business research programs, there have been a lot of important changes as a result of the Congressional reauthorization that mandated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding requirements through fiscal year 2017. …. We have been working diligently alongside the Small Business Administration to put these changes into effect for NIH, as described on the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011: NIH Implementation of Key Changes website. As the 2014 HHS-wide SBIR and STTR Omnibus solicitations were announced last week, I thought it would be good to highlight some of these important reforms. …. Continue reading

New Funding Opportunities with a Focus on Workforce Diversity

The biomedical research enterprise relies on engaging talented researchers from all groups, including individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research. As I described earlier here on the blog, NIH has planned the launch of several programs to increase workforce diversity. I’m excited to let you know that on December 19 we issued the funding announcements for the three core initiatives that make up the Common Fund “Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce” program. …. Continue reading

A New Opportunity in Big Data

In addition to all the biomedical workforce activity following December’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) meeting, other ACD working group initiatives have also been busy launching their flagship programs, as well. …. Most recently, NIH announced the flagship program for supporting challenges related to “Big Data” …. Continue reading

Additional Support for Sandy-affected Grantees

It’s been a little over six months since Hurricane Sandy, and many NIH grantees are still experiencing the effects of this major disaster. About a month after the storm I traveled to NYU, once with members of my staff, and again with NIH director Francis Collins to survey the damage. As Francis described on his blog, the amount of damage we saw was truly devastating. …. Continue reading

Diversifying the Training Experiences of the Biomedical Research Workforce

I’m eager to tell you about another important biomedical workforce-related initiative that NIH is launching based on the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) working group recommendations. This initiative seeks to expand existing research training and allow research institutions to best prepare their trainees for a variety of research-related career outcomes. …. Continue reading

Progress on the Biomedical Workforce Initiatives: Upcoming Changes to the K99/R00 Awards and Pre-doctoral Fellowships

As I posted back in December, NIH is implementing many of the recommendations proposed by the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) working group that studied the biomedical research workforce. I’d like to draw your attention to several Notices that have been posted in the NIH Guide in the past few weeks, laying out some of the details and providing a bit of background on the ACD recommendations that preceded them. …. Continue reading