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NIH Awards $20M to 5 Research Institutions to Accelerate the Development of Biomedical Health Tech


The goal is to advance promising technologies from academia to small business.

biomedical technology

Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of lily - Fotolia.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced it awarded $20 million to fund five research institutions with the goal of speeding up the development of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable solutions for patients.

The five Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) are focused on translating biomedical advancements into diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and tools to improve patient care and enhance health.

The hubs expand a national network of proof-of-concept centers that link more than 30 academic institutions that are using biomedical innovations to benefit patients.

“These awards increase engagement with private sector technology development experts and investors,” said Jodi Black, Ph.D., creator of the REACH program and deputy director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research. “They also build entrepreneurial research and development capacity to improve and accelerate the transfer of biomedical technologies from the lab to the market, which is critical for turning NIH discoveries into health.”

The program, founded in 2013, merges the strengths of the institutions with product development expertise and resources from federal and private sector partners. All five hubs received non-federal matching funds and developed partnerships with life science and economic development organizations.

“The goal is to enable academic innovators to validate the potential health impacts of their discoveries and advance the promising technologies from academia to small businesses,” NIH said.

Hubs look for biomedical projects, which are reviewed by product development experts. Each hub funds projects it sees potential in and provides support and entrepreneurial education to help innovators transform their discoveries into viable solutions.

Since its inception, the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations and REACH supported 269 research and development hubs, provided training for more than 2,200 scientists and led to the creation of 59 spin-out small businesses.

The newly selected REACH awardees include:

  • Kentucky Network for Innovation and Commercialization
  • Rutgers Optimizes Innovation Program
  • Midwest Biomedical Accelerator Consortium
  • Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus REACH Hub
  • Washington Entrepreneurial Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub

“In the end, the public benefits from the stream of innovative health products from NIH discoveries enabled by this program,” said Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., director of the NIH Office of Biomedical Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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