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National Institute of Biomedical Imaging
and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Cheryl Fee

NIBIB Explores New Opportunities With Industry

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently held a workshop to explore new avenues for partnering and interacting with industry. The goals of the December 16-17, 2003, workshop were to obtain input from biomedical industry representatives on (1) specific research needs or problems that could be best solved by an NIBIB-industry partnership to provide significant improvements in healthcare; and (2) ways that the NIBIB and industry can collaborate to effectively translate research results to patient care. An additional focus was to also address anticipated manpower needs.

Participants in the NIBIB Workshop on Biomedical Industry Research and Training Opportunities included representatives from 23 companies that encompassed a broad range of commercial biomedical endeavors, representatives from NIH and other Federal agencies, and extramural observers. Specific topics discussed during the meeting included industry research needs that will result in significant healthcare improvements, Federal government/biomedical industry interactions, and future manpower needs and associated training opportunities. Research discussion focused on topics that industry currently would not or could not support as part of their research agendas.

NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, M.D., Ph.D., convened the workshop by welcoming the participants and discussing the importance of their participation.

Dr. Pettigrew stated that the overall objective of this rare type of industry-based workshop was to identify biomedical research and development areas of common interest where a partnership could achieve healthcare benefits that otherwise might not be explored or realized. In particular, he asked the participants to consider “uncharted waters” that might be better explored together while being difficult for either the NIBIB or industry to explore alone.

The broad mission of the NIBIB is to improve healthcare by supporting the development and translation of technologies that enable fundamental discoveries and facilitate disease detection, management, and prevention. Input from the extramural scientific community is vitally important to ensure that the Institute’s current and planned research and training programs are relevant to biomedical research needs and national healthcare priorities, address issues and challenges associated with the development and application of enabling technologies, and support the missions of the NIH and NIBIB. Input from the biomedical industry community is particularly important with regard to identifying research needs that will result in significant healthcare improvements, translating technologies and research results to patient applications, identifying special manpower needs, and developing effective training opportunities.

Additional information on the workshop is available on the NIBIB website at www.nibib.nih.gov. A report detailing the results of the workshop will be prepared and posted on the website.

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