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NIH Chief Stresses Economic Impact of Federal Biomedical Funding

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help support biomedical research breakthroughs across the funding gap between lab bench and commercialization, also known as the “valley of death,” where many innovations die. The program, called Biomedical Research, Development, and Growth to Spur the Acceleration of New Technologies—or BRDG-SPAN—helps provide critical funding needed to carry out later stage research activities and to pursue the next appropriate milestone(s) necessary to move a product/technology along a promising commercialization pathway.

—Federal funding for biomedical research is something that President Obama strongly supports. The president has proposed increasing the current NIH budget of nearly $31 billion by another $1 billion for fiscal 2011, Collins says, “even at a time of difficult economic stress because of the president’s absolute confidence that an investment in science and technology is critical to the future of our nation.”

—Collins says the NIH will announce seven new funding programs this week that are intended to create “highly innovative and cross-disciplinary” centers. “Even though my budget is $31 billion, I could easily spend twice as much without wasting money,” Collins says. “The average person who sends a grant request to NIH has about one chance in five of getting funded.”

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