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December 04, 2022 | Tom Ballard

NIH reopens applications for REACH program hubs

The application deadline for new hubs is February 9.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) announcing the renewal of the agency’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) program.

Established to facilitate and accelerate the translation of academic biomedical discoveries into products that improve patient care and public health, NIH will provide qualifying institutions with funds to seed the creation of academic entrepreneurship Hubs. With the funding, successful applicants will be responsible for providing innovators with both the initial investment and resources to support the proof-of-concept work and the mentorship in product development and commercialization needed to develop high-priority technologies within the NIH’s mission.

Funded Hubs are intended to work as a consortium to enable: (1) the infrastructure for identifying the most promising technologies; (2) funding for product definition studies (e.g., feasibility studies, prototype development, and proof-of-concept studies) provided to individual researchers; (3) access to resources and expertise in areas required for early stage technology development (including scientific, regulatory, reimbursement, business, legal, and project management); and (4) skills development and hands-on experience in entrepreneurship. Establishing public-private partnerships and providing additional non-federal funds will be critical for success.

The last REACH Hubs funded appear to be five, the closest being a consortium of universities in Kentucky. Otherwise, there are not any Hubs in the Southeast or Middle Atlantic region.

Application deadline for new Hubs is February 9 as outlined in the FOA. There are two upcoming virtual meetings for those interested in learning more.

  • SSTI and RTI International will be providing an overview of the REACH program in a webinar on December 8 that will cover best practices and lessons learned, and include summary impacts to date from the first two cohorts of eight sites. To register, click here.
  • NIH will hold its own webinar at 3:30 p.m. EST on December 12. To register, click here.