Similar to analyzing clinical trial data, patents, and scientific publication rates, it is valuable to consider trends in grant rate data. Previously, the U.S. federal government operated an online tool called CRISP (“Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects”). It was a searchable database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other U.S. research institutions.
The database was maintained by the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and allowed users to search the CRISP interface for grants funding for specific types of scientific research, using text-based search terms.
However, that has since been replaced by RePORTer (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools),1 a more powerful database and search tool supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RePORTer allows users to search a comprehensive repository of National Institute of Health (NIH) funded research projects resulting from NIH funding.
Furthermore, it allows users to search for a term within the Title, Project Terms, or Project Abstract, of all grants contained within the database. In the year-by-year analysis below, the following set of search terms pertaining to mesenchymal stem cells was used: “mesenchymal stem cell” OR “mesenchymal stem cells” OR “mesenchymal stromal cell” OR “mesenchymal stromal cells”.
Because RePORTer searches are not case-sensitive, there is no difference between a search for “mesenchymal stem cell” and “Mesenchymal Stem Cell.” Therefore, all of the above searches are lower case. Most important for this analysis are the results that contain the above search terms within the Title of the grant only, because this means the grant is specific to MSC research.
Results for those search terms within the Title, Project Terms, and Project Abstract, are not shown below, because these results may be for reference or comparison purposes, and not directly indicative of the study of MSCs within the context of the grant.
All-Time Analysis of MSC Grants (1997 to Present)
The table below shows the number of MSC grants resulting from NIH funding per year. Interestingly, the first MSC project was funded in 1997, with a substantial increase in the number of funded research projects occurring between 2001 and 2006. In total, nearly $83 million in funding has been provided to support MSC-specific research projects, and another $5 million to support sub-projects.
Year-over-Year Trends in MSC Grants
The graph below shows the number of MSC grants that have been funded each year by NIH support. The two findings from the graph that are noteworthy are:
- There was a substantial dip in the number of MSC projects funded in 2007
- The number of projects funded was relatively flat between 2011 and 2014
Other than these abnormalities, the graph reflects a fairly consistently upward trend for funding of MSC projects by the NIH on a year-over-year basis.
To learn more, view the global strategic report “Mesenchymal Stem Cells – Advances & Applications.”
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1 Report.nih.gov,. ‘NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (Report)’. N.p., 2015. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.