Through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, NIEHS supports small businesses in the development of innovative applications to transform, translate, and communicate environmental health research to improve public health.
NIEHS supports small business grants in several program areas. These grants have helped bring to market technologies that detect exposures to environmental hazards; provide innovative test systems for understanding the effects of toxicants on cells and tissues; facilitate understanding of environmental health science concepts; remove contaminants from soil, water, or air; and improve worker health and safety.
General Information on SBIR/STTR Grants
General information on SBIR/STTR grants, including information on how to apply, special funding announcements, commercialization assistance programs, and the differences between the SBIR and STTR mechanisms, can be found on the NIH SBIR/STTR Grants and Funding webpage.
NIEHS SBIR/STTR program areas include:
- Technologies for characterizing biological responses to environmental stressors
- Technologies for measuring exposure to environmental agents and for integrating exposure and response
- New applications for nanotechnology to address environmental health issues as well as methods and technologies to assess exposures to engineered nanomaterials
- Novel methods for measuring internal dose of environmental agents and their metabolites
- Improved test systems for assessing or predicting the toxicity of environmental agents, including alternative systems and computational approaches that reduce animal use in toxicity testing
- Novel approaches or tools that build capacity and improve understanding of environmental health topics
- Innovation in e-Learning in worker education and training
- Commercialization of innovative remediation and detection technologies for use at Superfund sites
For more details about NIEHS funding topics see page 135 of the SBIR/STTR NIH, CDC, and FDA, Program Descriptions and Research Topics document.
For additional NIEHS SBIR/STTR application resources, visit www.niehs.nih.gov/sbir.
Technology Innovation, Transfer, Commercialization, and Communication for Environmental Health Science
NIEHS-funded researchers have made tremendous progress in developing technologies to characterize environmental factors that threaten public health, to examine the biological mechanisms of toxicant effects, and to evaluate how exposures to harmful environmental agents might be avoided or reduced. SBIR/STTR grants help small businesses develop and bring to market products or technologies that apply the latest research findings to identify, detect, or characterize environmental hazards and prevent exposures linked to disease outcomes.
Many of these innovations capitalize on advances in exposure biology. For example, SBIR/STTR grants support the development of devices and methods to precisely measure environmental contaminants, track the body’s response to exposures, and detect the internal levels of toxicants to which a person has been exposed. SBIR/STTR grants also support the mission of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods to reduce or replace animal use in toxicology testing through development of computational and in vitro approaches. In addition, SBIR/STTR grants support efforts to communicate about environmental hazards to the public to help people protect themselves from harmful exposures.
Daniel T. Shaughnessy, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop K3-04Durham, N.C. 27709
Innovation in Worker Education and Training
Proper training can mean the difference between life and death for workers who handle hazardous materials, help with emergency response when hazardous materials are released, or respond to manmade and natural disasters. Although training for such workers traditionally has required physical classrooms and educational materials, recent technological advances have opened opportunities for providing accessible, accurate, and interactive training through electronic channels.
Through the Worker Training Program, NIEHS supports the development of e-learning Advanced Technology Training (ATT) products for the health and safety training of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; skilled support personnel; emergency responders in biosafety response, infectious disease training and cleanup; emergency responders in disasters and resiliency training; and to assist in research into the acute and long-term health effects of environmental disasters. These e-Learning tools use a wide array of delivery platforms, including computer and web-based applications, virtual reality, serious gaming, and smart phone applications. In general, the tools provide a solution to specific training problems and for specific training audiences. They can be instructor-led and used in traditional classroom settings, and they often assist in preparation for critical “hands-on” training. These new approaches help to equip workers rapidly and effectively with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves and their communities from hazards.
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop K3-14Durham, N.C. 27709
Innovative Remediation and Detection Technologies for Use at Superfund Sites
The Superfund Research Program, through its SBIR/STTR program, supports small businesses to foster the commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and devices that can be used at Superfund or other contaminated sites for the detection and remediation of hazardous substances. These commercial products benefit public health by providing new methods for detecting contaminants or cleaning up environmental health hazards from contaminated groundwater, sediment, soil, and air. Visit the NIEHS Hazardous Substances Detection and Remediation Program for more information.