Although you may not consider the Department of Defense (DOD) as a key prospect when it comes to funding your medical product research through the SBIR program, DOD can be a significant source of support for health and medical funding. However, you must be aware that, unlike NIH or NSF, DOD is a CONTRACT agency. This means that applicants may submit proposals only to topics specifically solicited by a participating DOD component—all topics must be agency initiated, not investigator initiated.
Accordingly, you need to be alert and ready to respond when an appropriate topic is issued. The current DOD SBIR solicitation for the FY2013 cycle includes medical topics from DHP (Defense Health Program), Army and Navy. If possible, we recommend that you look through the topics during the “open” solicitation period (this one closes on May 24) while you can still talk to the Topic Authors about whether your technology fits the needs of the soliciting component. All component topics can be viewed at the DOD 2013.2 SBIR Solicitation site.
Defense Health Program
The Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP) allocates funds for DHP (Defense Health Program) research projects and is focused on advancing the state of medical science in areas of the most pressing needs. DHP medical research mission areas include: casualty care; infectious disease; brain health; medical simulation and modeling; rehabilitation; psychological health; radiobiology; blast injury; hemorrhage control; pain management; e-health; and human performance optimization.
The current DHP 2013.2 SBIR solicitation contains 17 DHP medical topics covering a broad range of technology needs including medical training systems; insect repellent and control; identification of pathogens; risk assessment software; blast and TBI (traumatic brain injury) technologies; wound dressings; sensors for assistive technology; and vaccine administration, among others.
The US Army Medical Research & Materiel Command (MRMC) located at Fort Detrick, MD ensures our armed forces remain in optimal health and are equipped to protect themselves from disease and injury, particularly on the battlefield. MRMC has included nine medical topics in the current Army SBIR solicitation including: Rapid therapeutic drug monitoring; software tool for musculo-skeletal performance; nerve regeneration technologies; biocompatible materials for ocular injuries; rehabilitation systems; stem cell processing; medical waste treatment; remote triage; and cognitive assessment for TBI.
The Navy’s SBIR program is heavily mission oriented and integrates the needs and requirements of the Navy’s Fleet and sponsoring System Command. The 2013.2 Navy solicitation includes one specific medical topic (a Hypoxia training device) and several others with potential dual use medical applications (i.e. situational awareness displays).
Feel free to contact BBC for assistance with your DOD proposal.
Becky Aistrup is BBCetc’s Principal Consultant specializing in DOD, NASA and DHS.