Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund executive director Ruchika Nijhara (Photo credit: Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund)

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has released Requests for Applications for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s first funding cycle of fiscal 2025. RFAs for the cycle are available for five grant programs: Manufacturing Assistance, Clinical, Validation, Commercialization and Launch. All applications are due by July 9.

Along with this announcement comes the news that the Commission is also extending grant funding to businesses outside of Maryland for the Commercialization grant program, provided the research activities are conducted within the state. The Clinical grant program is available to entities with at least one clinical site in Maryland.

Recently, the Commission launched new strategic initiatives under the Validation and Commercialization grant programs, aiming to foster deliberate collaboration between the private and public sectors.

“Applicants who partner with a company or university to create a public-private partnership will be eligible for an additional $100,000 above the maximum grant award. By providing additional funding to companies and academic institutions for collaboration, we aim to strengthen and sustain the innovative ecosystem in Maryland for stem cell research,” said Ruchika Nijhara, executive director of MSCRF. “This initiative underscores MSCRF’s steadfast commitment to accelerating the development of innovative stem cell-based therapies and technologies.”

MSCRF concluded its two funding cycles in fiscal year 2024, awarding more than $19 million in funding to 60 research projects from several companies and academic institutions.

The fund was established in 2006 by the Maryland Governor and Maryland General Assembly, and has committed close to $200 million to 600 different research and development projects to date. Gov. Wes Moore and his administration more than doubled the funds in fiscal 2023 and maintained the same level of funding with a current appropriation of $20.5 million for fiscal 2025.

The application submission portal is open at www.mscrf.org. The application submission deadline is July 9 at 12 p.m., with the award announcements slated for September. For further assistance, applicants can contact the MSCRF team at [email protected].

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