The United States government approved a total budget of $1.3 trillion. This appropriation offers an 8.8 percent increase to the NIH budget, which amounts to $37 billion. With the increase in funds, small businesses will be allocated greater dollars as 3.2% of all NIH funding must go to small businesses. This means that small businesses can now expect to secure a total of approximately one billion dollars from the NIH alone on an annual basis. But, that is likely to happen only if they present a winning submission to the NIH SBIR program. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, has to allocate also referred to as America’s Seed Fund is an excellent source of initial stage funding for the commercialization of technology in the country. Any special areas for increase?
  • The newly sanctioned budget offers an increase for certain special areas including:
  • $414 million for Alzheimer’s disease research (close to 30% increase), $400 million for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative ($140 million additional).
  • In addition to this, the entire US precision medicine study gets a $60 million increase, to $290 million,
  • $40 million in new funds will be spent on research on a universal flu vaccine(for $100 million in total) and
  • at least $500 million in new funds will be targeted to research on opioid addiction.
So that all happened in March, and what’s the latest? A US Senate subcommittee on 26 June 2018 called for a $2 billion boost to the fiscal 2019 budget of the National Institute of Health, representing a 5.4 percent increase over the agency’s fiscal 2018 budget. This would mean an extra $64 million for the SBIR program alone, or about 85 incremental awards. As we all know, decisions are made in committee and then go to both house and senate for a vote, then on to the White House for a final vote. This is one to watch. The trend now is up, and is expected to be the case for the next year to 2 years. So, What? Applying to receive a grant has not had a more favorable environment since the late nineties. If you are considering pursuing a grant, or have before and are considering doing so again, NOW IS THE TIME TO CONSIDER TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY.