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NCATS SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Entrepreneurs

November 30, 2017

As scientists working in the field of pharmacological research, we know how important it is to get our discoveries from the bench to the bedside. One key factor in being able to do so is funding, which is often scarce. This post is being contributed to PharmTalk by Lili Portilla, MPA, director of strategic alliances at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, to help describe the funding opportunities available through NCATS’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs

Too often, researchers’ ability to advance laboratory discoveries is limited by insufficient funding and lack of other support, problems that can prevent these discoveries from moving forward. NCATS’ SBIR/STTR programs can help entrepreneurs find what they need to advance their research toward commercialization.

The SBIR and STTR programs are among the largest sources of early-stage technology financing in the United States. The key differences between the programs involve employment criteria: SBIR awards require that, during the award period, the project’s principal investigator (PI) be employed more than 50 percent of the time by the small business (unless NIH grants a waiver of this requirement); STTR awards do not have such criteria.

SBIR/STTR program support offers a number of benefits:

  • Funding is stable, predictable and not a loan.
  • Capital is non-dilutive.
  • Small businesses retain intellectual property rights.
  • NIH’s rigorous peer-review provides recognition, validation and visibility to early-stage companies.
  • Prestige associated with the award can help attract more funding or support (e.g., venture capital, strategic partners).

Review NCATS’ SBIR and STTR program eligibility requirements to determine whether your project may qualify for funding.

 In addition, potential applicants can access NCATS’ SBIR and STTR program tips and resources, such as: 

  • Review each funding opportunity and eligibility requirement carefully.
  • Submit your application early: Note these can take two to three months to complete.
  • Use NIH ASSIST to streamline the application process.

The next application deadline is Jan. 5, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. local time. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, contact NCATS’ SBIR/STTR program officers to discuss a specific project and next steps. You can also connect with NCATS to learn about the latest funding opportunities and other initiatives to improve health through smarter science. PharmTalk thanks Lili for alerting us about these great opportunities to help advance translational science!

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