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HHS in the 21st Century: Charting a New Course for a Healthier America
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 establisha new, strategic initiative fundto enable the secretary to support cross-agency and cross-departmental activities that exhibit innovation in responding to twenty-firstcentury challenges, and to respond quickly tonew, unforeseen, or expanding public healththreats.