The NIGMS biomedical technology branch supports research to create innovative technologies that have a broad impact and provides access to them as a resource for the scientific community. The programs fund the development of new instrumentation, software and methods through several complementary grant mechanisms.
- Biomedical Technology Research Resources
Located at research institutions nationwide, these are a unique national resource, serving researchers across the country. The centers develop versatile new technologies and methods for basic and applied biomedical research. A central feature of the mission of each center is providing access to and disseminating these technologies as well as training researchers in their use.
- Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN)
This is a national initiative to advance biomedical research through data sharing and online collaboration, providing data-sharing infrastructure, software tools, strategies and advisory services—all from a single source. BIRN is an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort between NIGMS and a leadership consortium that includes the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute; the University of Chicago; Massachusetts General Hospital; the University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, Los Angeles. The network provides a user-driven, software-based framework for research teams to share significant quantities of data—rapidly, securely and privately—across geographic distance and/or incompatible computing systems.
- Instrument Development for Biomedical Applications
This program uses the R21 funding mechanism and is unique at NIH in that it provides support specifically for the exploratory development of new or improved instrumentation for biomedical research. It supports high-risk/high-reward technological innovation.
- Investigator-Initiated Research Grants
These grants support innovative work focused on instrument, method or software development. This program includes a unique funding announcement for the continued development and maintenance of software that is considered essential for biomedical research (R01 funding mechanism).
- Small Business Grants
These grants support high-risk/high-reward technological innovation.