BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As a special offering presented during the upcoming annual Mid-Atlantic Bio conference, co-hosts announced a comprehensive line-up of programming focused on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to help interested companies learn more about specific opportunities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sessions will include an update on the recent rule changes and new requirements, advice on how to apply for the competitive program and the opportunity for individual meetings with program managers from a variety of Institutes of the NIH.
“The SBIR program continues to be an important source of funding and support for emerging companies seeking to commercialize innovative research and develop market applications,” Jeffrey M. Gallagher, Virginia Bio Interim Executive Director and co-host of Mid-Atlantic Bio said. “We are particularly grateful that our geographical proximity to NIH’s world class program managers allows us to provide conference attendees individual interactions and one-on-one meetings during our upcoming event.”
The SBIR sessions will run throughout the day on Friday, September 28, starting with a series of one-on-one consultations that will be pre-scheduled online through the Mid-Atlantic Bio registration site and available to conference participants. Participating SBIR program managers will create online profiles with specific guidelines and program information, which will be available to interested companies, who can then set up appointments online. The participating companies will then meet individually with the NIH program managers to discuss specifics of the SBIR opportunities and ask questions about the process.
The afternoon sessions consist of two panels. The first will focus on an overview of the SBIR program and the recent changes to the program. Panelists will discuss the new guidelines and how they impact the ability of companies to participate in the program, as well as considerations on whether and how to pursue funding. In addition, representatives of the venture capital community will discuss the strategic role of SBIR funding in the lifecycle of life sciences companies.
“While the SBIR program is a critical funding stream for emerging life sciences companies, it is important that executives understand how SBIR funding can complement other sources, such as angel investment or venture capital, and are familiar with the specific rules that come into play when seeking funding from a mix of sources which includes SBIR,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, a co-host of the conference.
A second afternoon panel will cover specific opportunities at the National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and National Cancer Institute (NCI), among other Institutes. Participating companies also will receive information on funding opportunities currently available as well as advice and guidelines on submitting their applications. Additional one-on-one consultations with the presenting program managers will be available at the close of the SBIR sessions.
The SBIR sessions are a highlight of the two-day Mid-Atlantic Bio conference, one of the biggest and most important regional conferences for the life sciences sector – typically attracting attendees from 30 states and 10 countries. Registration for the conference will be available until September 24. However, early registration ends Monday, August 27.
“During this period of economic uncertainty, emerging companies face a particular challenge in securing funding for innovative approaches,” said Norris Tolson, President and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a new strategic partner participating in Mid-Atlantic Bio for the first time. “We know that conversations during the SBIR sessions with NIH program managers will greatly benefit our small companies.”
The 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, the Virginia Biotechnology Association, the Tech Council of Maryland, along with their new, strategic partner, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
About Mid-Atlantic Bio
Mid-Atlantic Bio is one of the country’s premier biotech conferences for senior-level executives, policymakers, academia, financiers, media and service providers. Its proximity to the US government, federal labs, commercial research and development, academic centers of excellence and a growing investment community, make it a uniquely valuable venue for those in the life sciences community. First launched as an industry gathering at the Academies of Science, the conference is a joint initiative of the founding host organizations: the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and the Tech Council of Maryland. The Conference is also pleased to welcome the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as a strategic partner for 2012. For more information, please visit midatlanticbio.org.