Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Translation of BRAIN Initiative Technologies to the Marketplace

ISSUED BY: National Institutes of Health


This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) encourages the translation of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative-supported technologies from academic and other non-small business research sectors to the marketplace. Small Business Concerns (SBCs) are encouraged to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications that propose to further develop, optimize, validate and scale such technologies for commercial dissemination. Additionally, SBIR and STTR applications supporting the development and commercialization of novel technologies that fit within the mission of the BRAIN Initiative are encouraged.


The BRAIN Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. It is expected that the application of these new tools and technologies will ultimately lead to new ways to identify, treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.

NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, “BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision,” which details seven high-priority research areas and calls for a sustained federal commitment of $4.5 billion over 12 years. This NOSI is based on the NIH’s careful consideration of the recommendations of the BRAIN 2025 Report and input from the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group and the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0.

NIH encourages BRAIN Initiative applications from investigators who are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce (see NSF data) and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Such individuals include those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities.

NIH also encourages businesses to participate in the BRAIN Initiative. It is possible for companies to submit applications directly to BRAIN Initiative program announcements or to collaborate with academic researchers in joint submissions. Small businesses should consider applying to one of the BRAIN Initiative small business Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs).In addition to the national BRAIN Initiative, the NIH continues to have a substantial annual investment in neuroscience research and in technology development, including through the

SBIR and STTR programs. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Program staff if they have any questions about the best FOA for their research.


  • Pre-graduate
  • Post-doctoral/Residency
  • Early Career
  • Established Investigator
  • International
  • Small Businesses
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March 3, 2021


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