National Academy of Medicine – Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge (Catalyst Phase)

October 22, 2019 by


Catalyst Awards will reward bold, new, potentially transformative ideas to improve the physical, mental, or social well-being of people as they age, in a measurable and equitable way. In particular, we seek ideas that aim to extend the human health span through innovative approaches. Applications may originate from any field or combination of fields (e.g., biology, chemistry, medicine, engineering, infrastructure, behavioral and social sciences, technology, and policy). Ideas may focus on any stage of life, as long as they ultimately promote health as people age.

Examples of topic areas include but are not limited to:
• Biology of aging and molecular pathways
• Physical health (e.g., mobility and functionality)
• Built environment and urban planning
• Disease prevention, including biomarkers and indicators of disease
• Health care delivery
• Housing (e.g., smart-enabled homes, intergenerational housing models)
• Policy (e.g., economic, health, and science policy)
• Behavioral health (e.g., social connectedness, engagement, and well-being)
•.Technology (e.g., artificial intelligence; robotics, medical, assistive, and information-technology)

Funding Available

As part of the Healthy Longevity Global Competition, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (“NAM”), with support from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, will issue up to 24 Catalyst Awards per year between 2020 and 2022 (i.e., Catalyst Award Rounds 1-3). Each Catalyst Award includes a $50,000 cash prize as well as travel costs to attend an annual Innovator Summit. The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) will collaborate with the NAM on the application and scientific review process.

Key Dates

January 2020 Application period opens
February 2020 Application deadline
July 2020 Winners announced
July 2021 Innovator Summit

Applicant Eligibility

The Catalyst Awards will be open to any person or team of any discipline or background and from any organization (e.g., colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies). For-profit companies may apply, provided they don’t have annual sales revenues of more than $10 million for each of their last two fiscal years. Among for-profit companies, there will be a strong preference for early stage endeavors (e.g., seed investments, startups, social enterprises, and spinouts). Applicants do not need to be affiliated with an institution to submit an application. Applicants must reside in the United States but do not need to be a U.S. citizen.

There must be a single Principal Investigator (PI) associated with each application. Only one Catalyst Award application per year per PI is allowed. However, a PI can be on another application as a co-investigator or collaborator within the same annual cycle.

The Application

The application may not exceed two pages, and it will consist of two sections:

Section I. Explain your idea. Why is it innovative and potentially transformative?
Briefly describe your idea and why it is innovative and potentially transformative. Notably, if your idea works, what impact will it have on the health and well-being of people as they age? What will it change?
• Briefly describe the specific issue (related to aging and longevity) that your idea will address.
• Briefly state, in one or two sentences, the crux of your idea.
• How is your idea an unconventional or creative approach?
• Why is now the right time for this idea?
• Describe the hypothesis for your proposal (if applicable) and why you expect it to be successful.

Section II. How would you implement and test your idea?
Briefly describe the project design and a feasible implementation plan, and then explain how you would test your idea.
• Describe the project design and how you would realize or implement the idea. Explain why the approach is feasible.
• How would you establish proof of concept? How would you measure the effectiveness of your idea?
• If you were successful in demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of your idea, what are the next steps you would take?

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Filed Under: Funding Opportunities