Partnering With the NIH: Now Part of the “Value Proposition” for Start-ups


For many years the United States has led the world in government support for non-military research and development (R&D), especially support for work that directly relates to health and human development.  A focal point for such federal investments to date in biomedical research has been the National Institutes of Health (NIH) along with other government laboratories and university-based research programs.   Base funding provided by the NIH alone reached  $31.2 billion (excluding economic stimulus funds) in fiscal year 2011 with approximately 10% of this funding spent on internal NIH R&D projects (intramural research) utilizing the work of about  6,000 scientists.  The balance was used to support the work of 325,000 non-government scientists (extramural research) at 3,000 various colleges, universities and research organizations such as Johns Hopkins University and others throughout the world. Each year this biomedical research leads to a large variety of novel basic and clinical research discoveries – all of which generally require commercial partners in order to develop them into products for hospital, physician or patient use.  Thus federal laboratories and universities need and actively seek corporate partners or licensees to commercialize their federally-funded research into products in order to help fulfill their fundamental missions in healthcare, medical education and training.
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