percent (1.6 percent in 2007) of total NIH funding—was established in 2004 and is now a statutory requirement, with its own line-item funding. The earlier IOM committee also recommended that the NIH director have a Special Projects Program, independent of the budgets of the individual NIH institutes and centers, to support initiation of high-risk, innovative research. NIH has now established a Director’s Pioneer Award Program and a Director’s New Innovator Award for purposes similar to those the committee envisioned (IOM, 2003; NIH, 2008a, 2008b).
Congress should establish a new, strategic initiative fund to enable the secretary to support cross-agency and cross-departmental activities that exhibit innovation in responding to twenty-first century challenges, and to respond quickly to new, unforeseen, or expanding public health threats.
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FDA Subcommittee on Science and Technology. 2008. FDA science and mission at risk. Washington, DC: FDA Science Board.
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HHS (Department of Health and Human Services). 2000. Healthy people 2010. Washington, DC: HHS.
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IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2003. Enhancing the vitality of the National Institutes of Health: Organizational change to meet new challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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