Research grants are a great source of non-dilutive capital that can enable you to further de-risk the science and technology that serve as the foundation of your business. Additionally, they can be an effective way to externally validate your ideas and research plan. The challenge is that the grant review process can be lengthy and there are limitations on what the funds can be used for. Tips on obtaining small business grants are included here.
Life Sciences Discovery Fund Grant Offerings
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) is accepting applications from Washington state for-profit and non-profit organizations for Proof of Concept Grants and Matching Grants.
Proof of Concept grants provide up to $250,000 in total costs to enhance the competitiveness of early-stage companies for private equity investment or enhance the commercial viability of health-related technologies or concepts developed by non-profit organizations.
Matching grants – program and project – require strategic co-investment by external funders. All applicants must speak with LSDF staff to determine if a pre-proposal may be submitted. Program grants support large-scale life sciences commercialization-related initiatives and provide a maximum of $1 million in total costs. Project grants support studies to advance promising health-related technologies along the commercialization pathway and provide up to $500,000 in total costs.
The next pre-proposal submission deadline is May 13, 2015, and awards will be announced September 28, 2015. Up to $4.5 million is available for Proof of Concept grants, up to $1.5 million is available for Matching program grants, and up to $3 million is available for Matching Project grants through September 2015, with no specific allocations or quotas by applicant organization type (for-profit vs. non-profit).
The Request for Proposals, application documents, grant competition calendar, and balance of available funds are at 2014-2015 Proof of Concept Grants and 2014-2015 Matching Grants.
HHS Grant Announcements
NIH: Elucidating HIV and HIV-treatment Associated Metabolic/Endocrine Dysfunction (R01) Grant Application deadline: April 9, 2015
NIH: Brain Somatic Mosaicism and its Role in Psychiatric Disorders (Collaborative U01) Grant Application deadline: February 24, 2017
CDC: Epidemiologic Study of Interstitial Cystitis Grant Application deadline: February 24, 2015
NIH: Alcohol Biosensors (SBIR)(R43/R44) Grant Applicant deadline: April 7, 2015
NIH: Alcohol Biosensors (SBIR)(R41/R42) Grant Applicant deadline: April 7, 2015
NIH: BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience (R25) Grant Application deadline: March 18, 2015
NIH: BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Research Tools and Methods (R25) Grant Application deadline: March 18, 2015
NIH: Biomedical Data Science Training Coordination Center (U24) Grant Application deadline: March 17, 2015
HRSA: Children's Safety Network Program Modification 1 Application deadline: March 2, 2015
Grand Challenges: New Interventions for Global Health
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is launching a new Grand Challenge: New Interventions for Global Health. This challenge focuses on innovative concepts for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics with the potential to be translated into safe, effective, affordable, and widely utilized interventions to protect against acquisition, progression, or transmission of infectious diseases, or to provide a cure for infectious diseases, in resource-limited settings.
This request for proposals will fund awards that could include grants, program related investments, or contracts up to USD $10,000,000 per awardee for up to four years. Full awards must include an industry, biotech, or other translational partner, either leading or participating in the application. Applications for pilot awards up to USD $2,000,000 are also considered.
Application deadline is January 13, 2015. For detailed description of this challenge, see the Request for Proposals.
ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge
The Market R&D Pilot Challenge, brought to you by the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), will help bridge technological gaps by bringing together health care organizations and innovative companies through $300,000 in pilot funding awards and facilitated matchmaking. The Challenge may award pilot proposals across the four domains:
- Clinical environments, such as hospitals, ambulatory care, surgical centers
- Public Health and community environments with community-based personnel such as public health departments, community health workers, mobile medical trucks and school-based clinic
- Consumer health, such as pharmacies and laboratories
- Research and data that, for example, provide novel ways of collecting data from patients
The Host and Innovator co-applicants must discuss and agree upon the pilot project prior to submitting an application. To apply, jointly complete the Joint Proposal Form by March 2, 2015.
For more information visit www.oncpilotchallenge.com
Aetna Foundation Grants
The Aetna Foundation has announced a $4.5 million technology challenge to encourage the use of technology in helping improve the health outcomes of underserved populations, specifically referencing the use of "digital health technology" as an area of focus.
There will be up to 6 winners, the winners will receive grants of $750K each over three consecutive years. More Information at Digital Health Initiative
NIH's SBIR/STTR Niche Assessment Program
The NIH’s SBIR/STTR Niche Assessment Program (NAP) is a nationwide program to help jump-start an SBIR/STTR Phase I awardee's commercialization efforts. Technology Niche Analyses® are provided by Foresight for 138 NIH SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees. These analyses are often awarded on a first come, first served basis and assess potential applications for a technology and then for one viable application, it provides an assessment of the:
1. needs and concerns of end-users;
2. competing technologies and competing products;
3. competitive advantage of the SBIR/STTR-developed technology;
4. market size and potential market
5. barriers to market entry (pricing, competition, government regulations, manufacturing challenges, capital, etc.);
6. market drivers;
7. status of market and industry trends;
8. potential customers, licensees, investors, or other commercialization partners; and,
9. the price customers are likely to pay.
Each participant receives an in-depth report. Oftentimes the small business can use this information in their commercialization plans for their Phase II applications. For more information, see Notice NOT-OD-13-109 that was placed in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on August 28, 2013.