Funding for Translating BRAIN Initiative Technologies to the Marketplace

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A recent Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) will support the translation of BRAIN technologies from academic and non-small business research to the marketplace.

The BRAIN Initiative has spearheaded the development and application of innovative technologies used to study and understand the brain. Now, BRAIN aims to disseminate these new technologies to the broader neuroscience community in part by bringing them to market. But for an academic researcher or small-business, translating technologies to the commercial marketplace is nontrivial. This requires extensive knowledge in product development, significant funds to maintain and update technologies, and other resources common to industry but lacking in non-commercial research settings.

The NIH recently issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) (NOT-MH-21-125) to help move BRAIN-supported technologies from the lab to the commercial marketplace. As part of this notice, the NIH encourages small businesses, and partnering researchers and/ or institutions to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant proposals to further develop, optimize, validate, and scale neuroscience technologies for commercial dissemination. Technologies that were or are not currently funded by BRAIN but fit within the mission of BRAIN are also welcomed. Also, successful projects will likely require close collaboration between original technology developers and small businesses.

Examples of technologies include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved microscopy imaging including in vivo and ex vivo tools, automation processes, and other advances.
  • Improved measures of brain activity such as multielectrode arrays, and other technologies.
  • Improved technologies for single cell transcriptomic/ epigenomic analysis.
  • Novel technologies for measuring and quantifying human and non-human animal behavior.
  • Novel or improved preclinical and clinical imaging technologies with the potential to enhance our understanding of complex circuit function or neuropathology.
  • Clinical electrophysiology technology including dry electrodes, clinical grade processing/ analysis pipelines, and others.
  • MRI (including fMRI) such as technical approaches to standardization, improved temporal/ spatial resolution, and correlation with EEG/ other activity measures.
  • Software platforms and knowledge management systems for large datasets including molecular, imaging, and electrophysiology data.

Please submit applications via one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcements through Jan. 26, 2024:

  • PA-20-260 SBIR Omnibus (Parent R43/R44; Clinical trial not allowed)
  • PA-20-265 STTR Omnibus (Parent R41/R42; Clinical trial not allowed)

For more details, see the full notice.