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“Biology is nature’s ultimate innovator, and any agency that hangs its hat on innovation would be foolish not to look to this master of networked complexity for inspiration and solutions.” – DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, Testimony to Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, U.S. House of Representatives, March 26, 2014
Many businesses and academic researchers wishing to pursue cutting-edge research ideas with government support lack the resources to navigate the burdensome paperwork requirements required to win federal grants or contracts. DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) has created a simplified proposal process to attract and fund new ideas from just those types of innovators—those operating at the intersection of biology and technology who may never have worked with the Defense Department and may otherwise have remained too daunted to try.
This announcement seeks revolutionary research ideas for topics not being
addressed by ongoing BTO programs or other published solicitations.
Military service members and veterans face serious occupational trauma; one
element in particular relates to the significantly increased risk of acute
and chronic neuropsychiatric conditions. Neuropsychiatric conditions in the
military are particularly impactful because options for treating them are
limited. No therapy currently exists that can deliver rapid relief of
neuropsychiatric symptoms and is reasonable for use in a broad spectrum of
conditions. Neuropsychiatric conditions are complex, and presentation is
highly subject to significant inter-individual variability. Focused Pharma
aims to develop new drugs that target specific neurotransmitter receptor
signaling modes to deliver near immediate relief that is generalizable
across indications and individuals.