Special Funding Opportunity: Coronavirus Response and Preparedness

BioMADE is seeking project concepts for high-impact projects related to research, development, and testbeds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronaviruses. Please view this opportunity broadly; projects related to infectious disease response as well as economic recovery will be considered.

This opportunity is available with $60 million of special funding available exclusively to institutes within the Manufacturing USA network, including BioMADE and its members, distributed through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of the American Rescue Plan. We realize this is a quick turnaround but are pleased to share this as a good example of the exclusive opportunities that BioMADE is able to make available to its members.

To submit a concept, please submit two paragraphs outlining your idea and high-level project plan by Tuesday, June 29 at 11:59 pm EST to proposals@biomade.org with the subject line “BioMADE 2021 Coronaviruses Proposal – [lead organization name].”

BioMADE staff will evaluate the submissions and determine competitive themes around which to write full proposal(s) in partnership with selected project teams. We expect that full proposals will include elements for several member organizations or teams, all of whom would receive funding, if the BioMADE proposal is successful. Teaming among BioMADE members is encouraged; BioMADE will help facilitate interactions based on submissions. Find additional guidelines about technical content and proposal requirements on NIST’s website.

BioMADE is seeking projects in two areas:

Technology and innovation: Projects creating biomolecule production systems relevant to pandemic prevention and response. A tie to coronaviruses (not specifically COVID-19) is necessary for full proposals, but they do not have to be exclusively coronaviruses (e.g. could apply to all potential respiratory diseases). Projects should be consistent with BioMADE’s mission in bioindustrial manufacturing and therefore generally not subject to cGMP or other relevant regulatory regimes. In your submission, please state the molecule class targeted, describe how the system envisioned could be realized in the two-year funding window, and list any relevant teams with whom you would seek to collaborate. Ideally the systems would be appropriate for process intensification or to initial automation, and be created with broad deployment as a design criterion. Ability to create concurrent workforce training programs is imperative.

Education and workforce development: Projects focusing on innovative and novel strategies to increase the talent pipeline for careers in bioindustrial manufacturing. This includes development and implementation of cross-disciplinary initiatives designed to build awareness, skills, and experience-based learning that promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. Please describe any relevant partnerships and resources that will be leveraged during the funding cycle. Proposals must indicate how these activities will align with relevance and responsiveness to coronaviruses.
As you develop your concepts, bear in mind that NIST will give special consideration to projects that prioritize diversity and equity, both in project teams and in project outcomes. Consider engaging with military veterans, minority service institutions, or low socioeconomic or rural regions. NIST anticipates funding single projects up to $5 million with a performance period of two years. No cost share is required.

BioMADE membership, or a signed membership agreement, is not required to submit your ideas. Membership is required to be part of the proposal submitted to NIST.

BioMADE will contact selected organizations within three days to discuss topics in greater detail. Full proposals will be due for invited organizations on or around July 19th for incorporation into BioMADE’s full submission to NIST.

If you have additional questions, please contact proposals@biomade.org with “NIST Coronaviruses Question” in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing your project concepts!