publication date: Feb. 22, 2019

NCI invites scientists to step up competition for $173 million set-aside for commercialization

By Paul Goldberg

NCI would like you to know that it has a pot of money for commercialization projects—please apply.

Together, the institute’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs are giving out $173 million in fiscal 2019. At NIH, these programs gave out $1.145 billion.

NCI Director Ned Sharpless, whose startup, G1 Therapeutics received $5 million from these funding sources between 2009 and 2011, set up a subcommittee of the National Cancer Advisory Board to see how to make these programs—funded through set-asides mandated by Congress—more attractive to academics.

At the NCAB meeting Feb. 12, the subcommittee proposed a new type of funding that could be directed toward high-risk/high yield projects, a $100,000 boost to existing awards, as well as several measures that would make the program more user-friendly to academics, women and minorities.

A video of the meeting appears here, and the working group’s slides appear here.

The institute also conducted an economic impact study of SBIR and STTR, finding that $787 million in funding that the institute’s SBIR and STTR programs dispensed between 1998 and 2010 resulted in a $26.1 billion impact to the US economy, creating 107,918 jobs and 247 commercially available products. Altogether, 71 technologies have been approved by FDA.

SBIR’s biggest success story is arguably Illumina Inc., a company that used SBIR money to create the fundamental technology that went into that company’s Infinium genotyping. Another success story brought forward in the report is CMR Naviscan, a company that markets imaging systems.

A report on the program’s economic impact appears … Continue reading NCI invites scientists to step up competition for $173 million set-aside for commercialization

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