Eva Garland Consulting (“EGC”) is pleased to provide this overview of the non-dilutive Research & Development (R&D) funding landscape for 2023. As we continue to experience a downward trend in Venture Capital investments on the heels of a 30% decline from 2021 to 2022, the strategic use of non-dilutive funding will be a key aspect of business planning for companies with R&D pipelines in 2023.

Fortunately for US scientific advancement, the federal government continues to invest in major initiatives to boost R&D funding and keep the nation at the forefront of innovation.  These include the government’s flagship Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which attract participation from all the major federal agencies; the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), and the highly anticipated CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Key developments related to these and other non-dilutive R&D funding opportunities are highlighted below:

On September 30, 2022, President Biden signed the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022, reauthorizing the SBIR and STTR programs for three years, with a budget exceeding $4 Billion/year.  The Department of Defense (DoD) maintains the highest total budget for SBIR/STTR at approximately $3 Billion, followed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at $1 Billion.  The DHHS, which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will continue to offer several special funding mechanisms that can generate up to $3 Million per award, such as a Fast-Track, Direct-to-Phase II, and the Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP).  Other notable agencies participating in the SBIR/STTR program include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in addition to several other smaller agencies.  Each of these agencies have established timeframes for accepting SBIR/STTR applications in 2023.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (P.L. 117-328) provided $1.561 Billion for the US Army Medical Research and Development Command Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for the current fiscal year. The CDMRP is a DoD program that receives congressional appropriations explicitly for biomedical research in specific, congressionally identified health matters. For 2023, the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, consisting of 50 topic areas, received the largest portion of funding, at $370 Million.  Other programs that exceed $100 Million in 2023 appropriations include the Breast Cancer Research Program ($150M), the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program($130M), the Prostate Cancer Research Program ($110M), and the Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health Research Program ($175M).

The CHIPS and Science Act contains the largest investment R&D in US history at $280 Billion, and will establish a technology, innovation, and partnerships directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to focus on fields including semiconductors and advanced computing, advanced communications technology, advanced energy technologies, quantum information technologies, and biotechnology.

Other important funding agencies and programs for 2023 R&D funding include:

  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) (2023 budget of $2 Billion) strives to deter, prevent and prevail against weapons of mass destruction. DTRA has several open contract opportunities with a focus on R&D in the physical, engineering, and life sciences, as well as biotechnology and computer system design services.
  • Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) (2022 budget of $3.868 Billion) supports transformational change across the physical, biological and computational sciences, with an interest in funding R&D efforts across numerous strategic programs that cover bioelectronics, biomanufacturing, medicine, environmental remediation, machine learning, cybersecurity, and more.
  • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) (2022 budget of $745 million) supports advanced development of medical countermeasures, with contract awards ranging from a few million dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The NIH Heal Initiative ($2 Billion invested to date since 2018) seeks scientific solutions to accelerate the development of prevention strategies and safe, non-addictive, innovative treatments for opioid misuse, addiction, and pain. There are at least 50 current open funding opportunities.
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) (2022 budget of $1 Billion) is a newly formed component of the NIH that supports the development of high-impact research to drive biomedical and health breakthroughs to deliver transformative, sustainable, and equitable health solutions for everyone.