News Release

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NIBIB and the Indian Department of Biotechnology Collaborate to Develop Low-Cost Medical Devices

Supplemental Funding Available for NIBIB-Supported Researchers to Work With Scientists and Engineers from India.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the availability of supplemental funding for eligible NIBIB-supported research grants to facilitate collaborative work among researchers in the United States and India.

The grants will be used to develop low-cost diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologies that can be used in underserved communities worldwide. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for any collaborative technology development or device that would be appropriate in a low-resource setting, such as low-cost imaging devices or point-of-care screening tests.

The supplemental funding, announced today at the U.S.-India Science and Technology Joint Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C., is an initiative between NIBIB and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology in India. In October 2007, NIBIB and DBT entered into a bilateral agreement to develop low-cost health care technologies aimed at the medically underserved. In 2008, NIBIB and DBT held a joint workshop on Low-Cost Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medical Technologies. Approximately 60 scientists, engineers, and clinicians from the United States and India identified leading areas of opportunity for improvements in health care for individuals with chronic conditions in low resource settings. As a result of this workshop, NIBIB and DBT are initiating jointly funded initiatives that capitalize on the expertise and resources of the two nations.

The collaborations supported by the supplemental funding will enable investigators to develop medical technologies that can significantly impact underserved populations within the United States and India. Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director of NIBIB, commented, "These supplements represent an important step in bringing technologically advanced quality health care to people in low-resource communities, both in the United States and in India."

Applications for supplemental funding are now being accepted. Funding amounts will vary and are limited to 25 percent of the direct costs of an existing NIBIB grant.The funding opportunity closes on September 10, 2011. More information and examples of potential low-cost technologies can be found at:

To facilitate development of collaborations between U.S. and Indian investigators, the NIBIB and DBT have established an online networking group at Scientists, engineers, and clinicians with interest in appropriate medical technologies for low-resource settings are encouraged to participate in the Indo-U.S. Coalition for Low-Cost Medical Technologies LinkedIn group.

NIBIB, a component of NIH, is dedicated to improving health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. Additional information and publications are available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®