MTEC Grants – A Funding Source for Biomedical Prototype Projects in Military Medicine
Written by Dr. Gage Greening January 2023
The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is a non-profit biomedical technology consortium collaborating under an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC). Formed relatively recently in 2015, their mission is to help advance medical solutions to protect, treat and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel. As part of this mission, they facilitate funding to academic research institutions, small businesses, large businesses, non-profits, and “nontraditional” defense contractors. Since their inception, MTEC has put out over $700 million in funding across nearly 200 projects. Compared to traditional funding mechanisms that entrepreneurs and investigators may be familiar with through the NIH, NSF, or DoD, MTEC funding operates slightly differently.
Funding Sponsors for MTEC Grants
Technology areas are usually funded and guided by the Combat Casualty Care Research Program (CCCRP), Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIDRP), Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP), U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA), and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), among others.
Technology areas are solicitation-specific. Specific requirements will be outlined within the Request for Project Proposals (RPP). That being said, throughout the year, MTEC grants are awarded to a wide range of topics related to military medicine and health, usually falling under the umbrellas of military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, or military operational medicine. Examples include, but are not limited to, prophylactics to prevent wound infection, diagnostics for fungal infections antivirals, far forward surgical support, autonomous medical care, traumatic brain injury, artificial intelligence, therapeutics for lung and kidney injuries, early prediction of chemical and biological threat exposure, managing psychological injuries and chronic mental health disorders, maintaining soldier psychological health, treatment and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal injury, repairing and restoring sensory systems, haptic platforms, sex-specific training, and treating and managing burns and hemorrhage. This list is not exhaustive, is constantly evolving, and there is no guarantee that all topics will be solicited for in a given year.
Solicitations and Awards
MTEC releases multiple solicitations throughout the year. These solicitations do not operate on a cycle, so it is recommended to check their website and join their Listserv to stay on top of the latest funding announcements. Once a solicitation is released, applicants generally have a short turnaround time of 30 days to submit a proposal. Proposals may take the form of full proposals, white papers, enhanced white papers, solution briefs, or a combination thereof, depending on the needs of the Government sponsor. Awarded projects often receive over $1 million in initial funding, with potential for non-competitive follow-on funding dependent on the results and deliverables, and Government need. This means you will not be required to write a new proposal to receive “Phase II” funding, for example. Funding is very competitive. Only the best proposals in terms of scientific merit, military relevance and best value will be recommended for funding. You can read about some of MTEC’s most successful projects here.
To go after MTEC Grants, you must be an MTEC member to submit a proposal. There are currently over 550 member organizations. Annual membership dues are $1,000 for small businesses, academic research institutions, and non-profits, and $5,000 for large businesses. If an academic institution joins, any faculty member from that university can submit proposals to MTEC so long as they have relevant prototype work in the military medicine space that fits the scope of the proposal. Subcontractors do not need to be MTEC members.
MTEC operates under an OTA for prototype projects with USAMRDC. This means that your project must meet the definition of a prototype. Through the MTEC, the Government is not interested in funding basic scientific research. Therefore, proposed projects should not be exploratory in nature and do require a strong foundation of preliminary data. We highly recommend speaking with MTEC personnel before starting your proposal to ensure fit. The scope of work that you propose should be focused on tasks relevant to advance your prototype to the next technology readiness level (TRL). Legally, your project must be a minimum TRL 3 to fit the prototype definition. Each MTEC solicitation will list the minimum required TRL of your prototype to be considered for funding. We also highly recommend bringing on subcontractors to create a strong teaming arrangement in order to respond to all requirements outlined in the solicitation. You can view MTEC’s 2021 Annual Report here.
Should you go after a MTEC Grant, feel free to contact us to assist you with your proposal development or to review/edit your draft before you send it to them!