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New funding opportunity targets small U.S. companies developing biomedical products adaptable for use in space

HOUSTON, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Administering health care in space demands innovative biomedical solutions. Small companies developing products that can be modified for use in space may be eligible for a unique funding opportunity offered through the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

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NSBRI's Industry Forum is soliciting applications for its Space Medical and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP). SMARTCAP grants are used to accelerate the development of products meeting a need on Earth as well as in space. Current priorities include non-invasive approaches to assess brain and ocular health, diagnostic and therapeutic devices using ultrasound and other non-invasive modalities, and miniaturized mass spectrometry solutions.

SMARTCAP now accepts grant applications year-round, with reviews and awards made quarterly. To be considered during grant cycle one (January-April, 2014), the one- to two- page applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. central time, Feb. 13, 2014. Other grant cycle deadlines, submission guidelines and additional information regarding SMARTCAP can be found at www.smartcap.org.  Grant recipients must secure a 100-percent match in funding. This leveraging of federal funding actively fosters public-private collaborations and partnerships.

"SMARTCAP offers non-dilutive grants that help small companies broaden the reach of their products, open new market opportunities, and simultaneously address the significant challenges faced by humans living and working in space," said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, NSBRI's Deputy Chief Scientist and Industry Forum Lead. "The proposed work should advance the commercialization of the product. Examples of desirable project goals are new applications for existing products, reformulation or refinement of prototypes, or usability testing. The outcomes must address a high priority need in space and improve life on Earth."

Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc. of Pleasanton, Ca. is using the 2013 SMARTCAP grant to accelerate prototype enhancements and testing of its non-invasive continuous monitor of brain fluid levels. ACell, Inc. of Columbia, Md. and Enterade USA LLC of Newberry, Fla., each received SMARTCAP grants in 2012. ACell and Enterade used these awards to develop and test products addressing wound healing and the effects of space radiation exposure on the gastrointestinal tract, respectively. Pulsar Informatics, Inc., of Philadelphia, Pa. received a SMARTCAP award in 2011 which it used to develop a smartphone app to monitor the effects of fatigue on reaction time and job performance.

NSBRI, a 501(c)(3) organization partnered with NASA, is studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight and developing the technologies and countermeasures needed for human space exploration missions. The Institute's science, technology and education projects take place at approximately 60 institutions across the United States. The NSBRI Industry Forum fosters the commercialization of NSBRI-supported products and research and engages the private sector in developing space compatible health care solutions. More information regarding NSBRI may be found at www.nsbri.org.

SOURCE National Space Biomedical Research Institute

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