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NSF Grants to Support Transformative Biological Tools

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation plans to grant $3 million in 2011 to fund research efforts aimed at developing new innovations that can transform or improve existing and high-end technologies, or prototypes, into more useful or powerful tools.

The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program will give between 10 and 12 grants next year to support development of tools that address demonstrated needs in biological research.

The program will support two types of projects, including Innovation Proposals and Bridging Proposals.

The Innovation Proposals will fund projects that seek to develop instruments that significantly improve current technologies by at least an order of magnitude in fundamental aspects, such as accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility, breadth of application, cost of construction or operation, or user-friendliness.

The Bridging Proposals may seek funding for transforming prototypes or high-end instruments into devices that are broadly available and utilizable without loss of capacity. If appropriate, NSF would like to see principal investigators seek Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer funding after these IDBR awards are spent.

These innovations should be used to produce systems that would benefit a broad user community through mass distribution of the technology, according to NSF.

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