The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (N C C A M): Part of the National Institutes of Health

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For a detailed description of NCCAM's mission, please see

The following narrative indicates the scope of projects suitable for the SBIR/STTR program that fit within the mission of NCCAM. For additional information about areas of interest to NCCAM and a listing of NCCAM's currently funded applications, please visit Business concerns interested in exploring SBIR/STTR grant opportunities with NCCAM are encouraged to contact NCCAM Program Officers prior to submitting an application.

Topics of Interest to NCCAM

NCCAM encourages innovative technological research and development of commercializable CAM products that would fulfill the mission of NCCAM. The application may include basic, pre-clinical, and early phase clinical studies. The areas of interest to NCCAM include but are not limited to development and validation of:

  • technology for standardization and characterization of biologically active ingredients in natural products;
  • technologies for taxonomic identification of botanical raw materials or detection of adulterants
  • methods for standardization and characterization of active components of mind-body medicine interventions;
  • tools for the analysis of polysaccharides and polyphenols;
  • botanical or botanically derived products with useful therapeutic potential including symptom management;
  • technologies for the identification and characterization of bioactive metabolites derived from oral consumption of natural products;
  • methods for the sustainable production of low yield natural products of commercial interest;
  • biomarkers which correlate with efficacy of CAM therapies;
  • standardized, reliable and economical tools that correlate with brain imaging in response to CAM treatment;
  • technical imaging tools or instruments for studying manual therapies;
  • CAM-based tools for pain management;
  • tools, technology and instruments, including gaming technology, for the accurate assessment of adherence and/or fidelity to the use of CAM practices, interventions, and products;
  • tools to improve patient-reported outcome measures of CAM clinical investigations;
  • tools to improve biological and physiological outcome measures of CAM clinical investigations;
  • tools to promote adoption of healthy behaviors through the use of CAM interventions;
  • tools to assess the effects of CAM on healthy behaviors.

Topics That Are of Less Interest to NCCAM

The NCCAM Office of Communications is responsible for disseminating CAM information to the public. Therefore applications addressing software development or educational materials and courses (including Continuing Medical Education courses or CD's) will not be considered relevant to the NCCAM SBIR/STTR program. Also not eligible for support are applications seeking to develop cookbooks for special diets or instructional materials for clinical practice. NCCAM does not fund clinical practice other than as a component of funded clinical research.

Although applications to support the development of databases are not widely encouraged, these proposals will be considered if they are limited to aiding the taxonomic and phytochemical characterization of medicinal plants/fungi.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate NCCAM Program Officer before submitting any SBIR proposals related to database development.

Other Research Topic(s) Within the Mission of the Center

For additional information on research topics, please contact:

Dr. Craig Hopp
Program Officer
6707 Democracy Blvd.
Suite 401, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
301-496-5825, Fax: 301-480-1587

For administrative, business management, and grant policy questions, please contact:

Mr. George Tucker, M.B.A.
Grants Management Officer
6707 Democracy Blvd.
Suite 401, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
301-594-8853, Fax: 301-480-1552

View small business funding opportunity announcements in the NIH Guide