The National Institutes of Health will get a $2 billion funding boost over the next five months, under a bipartisan spending deal reached late Sunday night in Congress. The agreement marks a sharp rejection of President Trump’s proposal to cut $1.2 billion from the medical research agency in the current fiscal year.
The deal does not address funding for 2018, when Trump has called for a slashing the NIH’s budget by about a fifth, or $5.8 billion.
But it sends a clear signal that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle prioritize funding for medical research and intend to honor the agreements laid out in the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill that called for raising NIH funding and speeding approvals of new drugs and medical devices. This will be the second year running that Congress gives a $2 billion funding bump to the agency, which funds medical research across the country.
And what does this mean for the region? Innovation needs to win. Our region needs to ensure that we create a winning environment for emerging companies who collaborate with NIH and other research institutions–quickly. We need to seize every opportunity to introduce new treatments and medical drugs to improve lives, create opportunities for businesses to prosper in the region, and most of all, create a region with appeal to those companies who want to be innovative, forward-thinking and be the possible cure-finders.