• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

NIH Announces Strategy to Accelerate Medical Research Progress

October 03, 2003

To transform the nation’s medical research capabilities and speed the movement of research discoveries from the bench to the bedside, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) laid out on Monday a series of initiatives collectively known as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

Developed with input from more than 300 leaders in academia, industry, government and the public, the NIH Roadmap provides a framework of the strategic investments NIH needs to make to optimize its research portfolio. The NIH Roadmap builds on the progress in medical research achieved, in part, through the recent doubling of the NIH budget.

In setting forth a vision for a more efficient and productive system of medical research, the NIH Roadmap focuses on opportunities in three main areas — new pathways to discovery, research teams of the future and re-engineering the clinical research enterprise. The three areas are comprised of 28 initiatives to be carried out by nine implementation groups:

  • Building Blocks, Pathways and Networks;
  • Molecular Libraries and Imaging;
  • Structural Biology;
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology;
  • Nanomedicine;
  • High-risk Research;
  • Interdisciplinary Research;
  • Public-private Partnerships; and,
  • Clinical Research.

NIH states that it wants to stimulate new ways of combining skills and disciplines in the physical and biological sciences. One of the 28 initiatives it will undertake is a new funding mechanism billed as the NIH Director’s Innovator Award. The idea behind the award is to encourage investigators to take on creative, unexplored avenues of research that carry a relatively high potential for failure, but also possess a greater chance for groundbreaking discoveries.

Additionally, the NIH Roadmap will establish a central point of contact called the Director’s Liaison for Public-Private Partnerships. To expand such collaborations, the liaison will serve as a resource to NIH staff on such partnerships, share best practices across NIH and chair an internal Public-Private Partnerships Coordinating Committee.

To be part of the NIH Roadmap, the 28 initiatives had to be deemed of high potential impact, enhance the disease and mission-specific activities of NIH’s 27 institutes and centers, and respond to the needs and concerns of the public. Some initiatives that build upon existing research efforts are expected to achieve their goals rapidly, while other newer or more complex endeavors are expected to take several years to come to fruition.

NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, will begin to implement all of the initiatives in fiscal year 2004. For more details on the NIH Roadmap, visit http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/.