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National Institutes of Health s National Center for Research Resources, University of California, Merced, Trinity College Dublin and Chemical Computing Group, Nonlinear Dynamics, Rutgers University

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NIH to Grant SBIR Awards for Biomedical Data Integration

The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources plans to provide funding for small businesses developing data integration tools for biomedical information.

According to a program announcement describing the program, “Integration of Heterogeneous Data Sources,” NCRR is seeking applications for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

The purpose of the program, according to the NCRR announcement, is to “encourage small businesses to develop innovative software for addressing the integration of distributed cross-disciplinary data sources into coherent knowledge bases for biomedical research.”

Applications are expected to describe at least one biomedical research problem that will benefit from the proposed tool or tool set, as well as to describe how the approach will scale when applied to additional data sources and/or to other biomedical problems. In addition, “a reasonable mechanism for maintenance and expansion of the software as well as integration with existing solutions should be carefully outlined,” NCRR said.

NCRR did not provide a limit on the number of grants it plans to award under the program, but noted that awards will be subject to the standard guidelines for SBIR and STTR Phase I and Phase II awards.

SBIR Phase I awards normally may not exceed $100,000 total costs for a period normally not to exceed 6 months; STTR Phase I awards normally may not exceed $100,000 total for a period of one year; and SBIR and STTR Phase II awards normally may not exceed $750,000 total costs for a period normally not to exceed two years.

Applications may be submitted by NIH’s standard application deadlines of April 1, Aug. 1, and Dec. 1, until the program expires on Dec. 2, 2007.

Further information on the program is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-05-003.html.


UC Merced Awarded $2.7M for Computational Biology Center

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing has awarded a three-year, $900,000-per-year grant to the University of California, Merced, to establish a Center for Computational Biology, the university said last week.

Michael Colvin will be the director of the new center and Arnold Kim will be deputy director.

UC Merced said it plans to collaborate with other institutions such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop the center.

The UC Merced center is one of three such centers being created by the DOE. The other two are located at the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University.

Because the research objectives of the center will be carried out on the university’s desktop computers and supercomputers at centers run by the DOE and other large entities, “very little should be needed by way of new facilities and equipment,” UC Merced said. Therefore, the university will use the DOE funds to bring people on board to run the new center. Positions will open up for grad students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff members, the university said.


CCG Provides Free Trial of MOE for Irish Academic Groups

Trinity College Dublin and Chemical Computing Group have partnered to provide a three-month trial of CCG’s MOE (Molecular Operating Environment) molecular simulations software for academic researchers in Ireland, CCG said last week.

Under the terms of the collaboration, MOE will be made available on a secure website to eligible Irish academics for download and use for a three-month period, beginning Oct. 15. Training material will also be provided.

The overall purpose of the trial, according to CCG, is to “demonstrate the feasibility and desirability of widespread availability of such technology, with a view to providing more permanent such arrangements in Ireland in future.”


Nonlinear Claims $1M in Annual Profit

Nonlinear Dynamics said last week that it achieved “record turnover, record profits, and record assets for its 2003/4 financial year.”

Nonlinear said that its financial results for the year were audited by Deloitte and Touche, and that the company posted profits “in excess” of $1 million.

The privately held firm did not disclose further details of its year-end results.


Three Rutgers Comp Bio Projects Awarded NIH Roadmap Grants

Rutgers University said last week that it is participating in three bioinformatics-related grants totaling more than $4 million under the National Institutes of Health’s “NIH Roadmap” program.

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