WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced an agreement to feature Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded early-stage biomedical companies in an expanded Innovation Zone at the 2015 BIO International Convention®. The Innovation Zone companies, focused on drug discovery, diagnostics and other therapeutic platform technologies, will have dedicated exhibit space and participate in BIO One-on-One Partnering™. Select companies will make 15-minute company presentations in the BIO Business Forum. The Innovation Zone will also feature six universities funded under the prestigious NSF Accelerating Innovation Research Program (AIR). This select group will demonstrate advanced biomedical prototypes that are very close to commercialization stage.
“We are thrilled to announce our expanded partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to bring the Innovation Zone to Philadelphia this year,” said Scott Whitaker, President of the BIO International Convention. “Each of these companies, through their selection as SBIR grantees, have demonstrated transformational technology with large potential societal and market impact, presenting a unique opportunity for investors. Based upon the popularity of the inaugural Innovation Zone last year, we are planning to nearly double the size for 2015.”
“NIH is committed to supporting exceptional innovation through the SBIR program. The early-stage companies showcased in this year's Innovation Zone highlight some of the most promising technologies and significant non-dilutive investments that we hope will achieve commercial success and significantly advance human health. In order to move toward this goal, however, these companies require critical partnerships and capital. I encourage attendees to meet with our companies and explore the featured exhibits and presentations,” said Dr. Lenka Fedorkova, NIH SBIR/STTR program manager.
“The technology behind some of today’s greatest innovations have come from inventive small companies,” said Jesus Soriano, a program director for NSF's SBIR/STTR program. “World-class tradeshows like the BIO Convention offer federally supported tech pioneers -- who have big ideas, but limited resources -- the opportunity to showcase their emerging research. This year, dozens of NSF-funded companies and several academic laboratories with prototypes will be available to talk about their high-risk, high-reward projects, which will span a wide range of topics from new therapeutic platforms to detection methods. ”
Each of the companies has been rigorously vetted through the SBIR/STTR review process prior to receiving the non-dilutive funding to engage in R&D that has the potential for commercialization. The NIH and NSF invest a combined $940 million annually in the programs.
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BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.
About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs
At the National Science Foundation (NSF), Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) is an approximately $160 million program that catalyzes the commercialization of high-risk technological innovations via research and development grants to small businesses and startups. NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
About the National Institutes of Health’s Small Business Programs
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the nation's premier biomedical research agency, comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its SBIR and STTR programs are one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for innovative US small businesses, investing approximately $780 million annually in technologies with commercial potential. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.
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