University of Southern California


RFA-OD-19-014: NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Slots:                                                     1                             

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        February 19, 2019           

External Deadline:                          March 19, 2019, 5pm PT

Award Information:                        Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 5

Anticipated Amount: $5 million/year for 4 years.

Cost Sharing:                                     This FOA requires a minimum of a 1:1 cash match of the direct costs of the award and must be included in the application as well as reported.  In-kind contributions that enable the Hub to meet the goals of this FOA are allowed and encouraged, though not required. In-kind contributions do not apply to the cash matching requirements. Any in-kind contributions volunteered by the applicants/recipients do not need to be reported to the NIH.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:


Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    Standard NIH eligibility requirements.


The NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) program is envisioned as a partnership program between NIH and the qualifying research institutions to accelerate the creation of small businesses and the transition of discoveries originating from academic research into products that improve health. REACH Hubs will foster the advancement of therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, devices, and tools in a manner consistent with business case development, that address the needs of patients and public health. Applicants are encouraged to focus on building entrepreneurial communities in the areas of highest US burden of disease and disability that historically attract lower levels of private capital investment and otherwise would likely not receive support. The new REACH Hubs will build upon lessons learned from previous awardees to transition promising technologies to the next source of independent financing, such as the private sector, through a viable start-up company competitive for a small business award,  or a licensing opportunity. The program aims to strengthen the technology through a team based developmental approach that addresses downstream requirements, including intellectual property, regulatory, and reimbursement issues and business case development to facilitate handoff to the private sector and formation of strong companies. It is expected that spinout companies will be in a position to submit strong small business applications (SBIR and STTR), including to Phase I, Fast-Track and Direct-to-Phase II programs. The Hubs will establish novel partnerships, strengthen existing alliances between stakeholders (including public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors), provide entrepreneurial educational opportunities for diverse innovators, and create cultural and systemic changes to more rapidly move from breakthrough innovations to products that will have health, economic, and societal impact.


The REACH program will address the problems that hinder the critical, early steps necessary to translate novel scientific advances into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools that improve patient care and improve public health. Applicants from the qualifying institutions are invited to submit grant applications to accelerate the transition of research discoveries into impactful products that address unmet medical needs.


Each Hub will assemble diverse experts in biomedical product development, and will have the expertise to identify and source projects that have progressed to a point where a potential commercial product can be envisioned, but additional research and development efforts are required to define the product (demonstrate feasibility and proof-of-concept). Through a combination of in-house efforts and collaboration, each Hub funded under this FOA will perform functions to specifically address the critical knowledge and funding gaps that hinder the early steps needed to turn novel discoveries into technologies for biomedical advancement and patient care. The work supported by the REACH Hubs may include technical validation, market research, clarifying intellectual property position and strategy, clarifying regulatory or payer requirements, and investigating commercial or business opportunities.


Each Hub will:


1)   Be governed by leadership experienced in biomedical product development with a specific focus on bringing biomedical technologies from research institutions to promising products that improve patient care and enhance health.


2)   Develop the necessary collaborations and partnerships to meet the goals of this FOA.


3)   Provide infrastructure and “know how” for soliciting, evaluating and selecting the most promising technology opportunities predicated on US disease burden medical need, scientific merit, and commercial potential that otherwise would not receive support for early-stage proof-of-concept work.


4)   Establish processes to review and award funds to individual academic researchers and provide the resources and expertise required for early stage technology development.


5)   Develop and implement market-focused project management oversight and decision-making processes.


6)   Provide diverse academic innovators, including students and post-docs, access to skills development, hands-on entrepreneurial experience, educational and networking activities with linkages to local or virtual resources.


7)   Implement a plan for transitioning to a self-sustaining structure.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.