Friday, August 15, 2008

The HPS Network and the Small Business Innovation Research Program

The HPS Network has signed onto an effort to ask Congress to include rare disease research as an area of research that is deserving of special attention in the Small Business Innovation Research Program. The program is up for renewal, so it’s the time when Congress can make changes.

This is the program’s mission statement:

The Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Through these two competitive programs, SBA ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program; five departments participate in the STTR program awarding $2billion to small high-tech businesses.

Although research into rare diseases can often yield medical discoveries that benefit people beyond the scope of any one given disease, it can be very difficult to get this research off the ground, especially in the early stages.

It is our hope, as well as that of the other patient advocacy groups that are joining the effort, that this will help to engage industry to help us find better treatments and cures.

I’ll be updating everyone as this process works its way through the system.

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