The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program supports the development, production, and distribution of novel instrumentation that addresses demonstrated needs in biological research in areas supported by NSF Biology programs (see http://www.nsf.gov/bio). These systems would benefit a broad user community through mass distribution of the technology. Interdisciplinary collaborations are strongly encouraged, as are partnerships with U.S. industries that can facilitate knowledge transfer, commercialization and broad utilization in the research community. The program accepts two types of proposals:
Type A - Innovation: Proposals for the development of novel instrumentation that provides new research capabilities or, where appropriate, that significantly improves current technologies by at least an order of magnitude in fundamental aspects such as accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility, breadth of application, costs of construction or operation, or user-friendliness.
Type B - Bridging: Proposals for transforming ‘one of a kind' prototypes or high-end instruments into devices that are broadly available and utilizable without loss of capacity. If appropriate, PIs should seek SBIR/STTR Program, or similar support mechanism for implementation of broad distribution following an IDBR award.
The IDBR program does not support access to an individual instrument in a user facility, or to data collected thereby; such proposals should be submitted to other relevant programs or agencies. Projects focused on enhancing research capabilities in a specific research lab, institution, center or consortium are not eligible for IDBR support. Similarly not eligible are projects for the development of methods, assays, or software for instrument operation, data acquisition or analysis, except as a component of the instrument development and testing.
In addition to NSF's standard merit review criteria (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/) the following additional criteria will be considered in proposal evaluation:
Type A - Innovation: Need and potential impact on biological research; novelty of the device or clear demonstration of at least an order of magnitude improvement over available technologies; feasibility of the technical plan; novelty of the dissemination plan; and inclusion of the biological user community.
Type B - Bridging: The magnitude of the potential biological user community and demonstrated strength of need; feasibility of the technical plan; and quality of the dissemination plan to make the technology broadly available to the community.
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