Search
Close this search box.

NIIMBL's Projects and Programs

Both projects and programs are opportunities for direct member involvement to help benefit the biopharmaceutical manufacturing community, but they have some key complementary differences.

Project call program

  • Broad solicitation of projects from NIIMBL members on technical and workforce topics
  • NIIMBL committees provide recommendations for topic areas
  • All NIIMBL members can participate

NIIMBL-led programs

  • Specific coordinated projects around a strategic technical theme
  • Defined by member program participants, led by NIIMBL Program Leads and Steering Team
  • Participation is based on membership tier

Workforce programs

  • Allow academia and industry to work together, foster connections, build skills, and connect qualified candidates with job opportunities
  • Can include programs for students to gain insight into the biopharmaceutical industry and possible careers

Project call program

NIIMBL proudly funds projects that accelerate technology advancement and help improve the diversity and skills of our workforce.
  • Project calls are issued approximately annually
  • Priority topic areas for technical and/or workforce development proposals are member-driven and industry-led
  • Completed projects have affected real change in areas throughout the biopharmaceutical ecosystem, including:
    • Reducing costs and measurement time with real-time monitoring in bioreactors
    • Saving millions in facility construction costs for downstream processing
    • Developing software and hardware tools for use by the entire ecosystem in R&D labs
    • Significant cost savings in the manufacture of cytokines for cell growth

Number of Funded Projects

As of June 30, 2023

Solicitations

Current opportunities

We achieve our mission through an RFx process that aims to advance technical and workforce development projects:

  • Request for Proposals
    (RFP): A solicitation sent to the entire NIIMBL community that is to result in funding of activities
  • Request for Information
    (RFI): An open invitation for organizations to share information; not directly associated with funding
  • Request for Applications
    (RFA): A focused solicitation to particular organizations to submit an application intended to result in funding of activities
RFA: NIIMBL eXperience 2025
RFP 7.1
RFI 2023.1: Viral Vectors
RFA: Faculty Fellows

RFA: NIIMBL eXperience 2025

The 2025 NIIMBL eXperience Request for Applications (RFA) is a rapid response proposal call. The purpose is to conduct the NIIMBL eXperience program in different areas of the country. We intend to do this by funding NIIMBL academic or non-profit member organizations to serve as regional lead organizations that will plan, recruit students, and run a NIIMBL eXperience program in their region. Applicants to this RFA will apply to serve as a regional lead organization by proposing a program that provides exposure to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry through hands-on training, mentoring, tours, and engagement with “hosts” from professional associations, industry, and academic partners.

Application Deadline: July 25, 2025 (5:00 PM ET)

Learn more about the 2025 NIIMBL eXperience RFA

RFP 7.1

RFP 7.1 includes both technology development and workforce development topics, with a funding amount of up to $4 million. It is open to current NIIMBL members and to new members by the close of the full proposal deadline (December 7, 2023).

Be sure to download the full RFP document for information on submitting either Technology Development or Workforce Development proposals.

Funding amount: Up to $4 million

Technology Development Topics

  • Cell processing (primarily for application in cell therapies)
  • Technologies for intensified processing of therapeutic proteins
  • In-line, at-line, and online measurements for critical quality attributes (CQAs) and / or process variables
  • Analytical and manufacturing technologies for viral vector manufacturing
  • Improving reliability and quality assurance of manufacturing processes, including Big Data applications


Workforce Development Topics

  • Increase Interest in Biopharma Manufacturing Careers
  • Internship and Immersion Experiences for Non-Traditional Degrees
  • Innovative Talent Pipeline Partnerships
  • Education & Training for New Technologies and/or Use of New Modalities
  • Cross Regional Collaboration


Learn more about RFP 7.1

RFI 2023.1: Viral Vectors

RFI 2023.1 – Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Method Development Study – aims to promote collaboration among multiple laboratories and industry partners to enhance the reliability, consistency, and understanding of AAV vector properties using NGS-based analysis methods. (Closed September 5, 2023)

The objectives for this study are method development, sharing of best practices, and the establishment of a common protocol amongst the project teams. Depending upon the study outcome, subsequent stages would be planned in the future.

Learn more about RFI 2023.1

RFA: Faculty Fellows

NIIMBL is pleased to announce the pilot of a faculty sabbatical in industry program. The NIIMBL Faculty Fellows program provides financial support for faculty or instructional staff at universities and community colleges to pursue a sabbatical either at an industry member (Tier 1 or Tier 2) or at NIIMBL’s Headquarters (NIIMBL HQ) in Delaware to support NIIMBL-led projects.

Objectives

  • Create a diverse and engaged community of academics that can work collaboratively and effectively with industry and represent a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and institutions
  • Gain valuable experience and exposure to state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing, learn about real-world industry challenges, seed new industry-academic partnerships, and strengthen the overall member community


Requirements

  • Up to 12 month sabbatical period (12 months is the preferred duration)
  • Maximum total budget of $200,000

Learn more about the Faculty Fellows Program

RFA: NIIMBL eXperience 2025arrow down

RFA: NIIMBL eXperience 2025

The 2025 NIIMBL eXperience Request for Applications (RFA) is a rapid response proposal call. The purpose is to conduct the NIIMBL eXperience program in different areas of the country. We intend to do this by funding NIIMBL academic or non-profit member organizations to serve as regional lead organizations that will plan, recruit students, and run a NIIMBL eXperience program in their region. Applicants to this RFA will apply to serve as a regional lead organization by proposing a program that provides exposure to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry through hands-on training, mentoring, tours, and engagement with “hosts” from professional associations, industry, and academic partners.

Application Deadline: July 25, 2025 (5:00 PM ET)

Learn more about the 2025 NIIMBL eXperience RFA

RFP 7.1arrow down

RFP 7.1

RFP 7.1 includes both technology development and workforce development topics, with a funding amount of up to $4 million. It is open to current NIIMBL members and to new members by the close of the full proposal deadline (December 7, 2023).

Be sure to download the full RFP document for information on submitting either Technology Development or Workforce Development proposals.

Funding amount: Up to $4 million

Technology Development Topics

  • Cell processing (primarily for application in cell therapies)
  • Technologies for intensified processing of therapeutic proteins
  • In-line, at-line, and online measurements for critical quality attributes (CQAs) and / or process variables
  • Analytical and manufacturing technologies for viral vector manufacturing
  • Improving reliability and quality assurance of manufacturing processes, including Big Data applications


Workforce Development Topics

  • Increase Interest in Biopharma Manufacturing Careers
  • Internship and Immersion Experiences for Non-Traditional Degrees
  • Innovative Talent Pipeline Partnerships
  • Education & Training for New Technologies and/or Use of New Modalities
  • Cross Regional Collaboration


Learn more about RFP 7.1

RFI 2023.1: Viral Vectorsarrow down

RFI 2023.1: Viral Vectors

RFI 2023.1 – Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Method Development Study – aims to promote collaboration among multiple laboratories and industry partners to enhance the reliability, consistency, and understanding of AAV vector properties using NGS-based analysis methods. (Closed September 5, 2023)

The objectives for this study are method development, sharing of best practices, and the establishment of a common protocol amongst the project teams. Depending upon the study outcome, subsequent stages would be planned in the future.

Learn more about RFI 2023.1

RFA: Faculty Fellowsarrow down

RFA: Faculty Fellows

NIIMBL is pleased to announce the pilot of a faculty sabbatical in industry program. The NIIMBL Faculty Fellows program provides financial support for faculty or instructional staff at universities and community colleges to pursue a sabbatical either at an industry member (Tier 1 or Tier 2) or at NIIMBL’s Headquarters (NIIMBL HQ) in Delaware to support NIIMBL-led projects.

Objectives

  • Create a diverse and engaged community of academics that can work collaboratively and effectively with industry and represent a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and institutions
  • Gain valuable experience and exposure to state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing, learn about real-world industry challenges, seed new industry-academic partnerships, and strengthen the overall member community


Requirements

  • Up to 12 month sabbatical period (12 months is the preferred duration)
  • Maximum total budget of $200,000

Learn more about the Faculty Fellows Program

Past opportunities

American rescue plan

NIIMBL funded 32 coronavirus response projects to multiple organizations across the United States.

Project Call 6.1

NIIMBL awarded approximately $1.7M through the Institute’s Global Health Fund (GHF) for projects focused on the development of in vitro potency assays for vaccines being produced by mRNA and/or viral vector technologies.

Learn about more past funding opportunities

Case studies

December 2023

Single-use Modules for Continuous Removal of Antibody Fragments

LigaTrap Technologies, LLC, Merck & Co., Inc., MilliporeSigma/EMD Serono, North Carolina State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

August 2023

A New Generation of High-efficiency HVAC Filters that Can Be Used with Existing Infrastructure to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus Through Recirculation of Air

North Carolina State University

August 2023

Development of a Thermo-tolerant, Multidose, Egg-produced, Vector-based Coronavirus Vaccine

PATH Center for Vaccines Innovation & Access

August 2023

Development of Scalable, Thermostable, Spray Dried Vaccine Formulations Applicable for Coronavirus Vaccines

Fraunhofer USA

November 2022

Noninvasive PAT for Aluminum-adjuvanted Vaccines

Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc., University of Maryland Baltimore

September 2022

Specific Detection of Infected Cells Using Optical Drag-Tags in Laser Force Cytology

Carnegie Mellon University, LumaCyte, Merck & Co., Inc., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

NIIMBL-led programs

NIIMBL-Led Programs accelerate progress around a strategic technical theme to benefit the relevant biopharmaceutical manufacturing community.
Through these programs, NIIMBL is committed to finding solutions to key biopharmaceutical manufacturing challenges that will push the limits of what is currently possible and accelerate the speed at which we manufacture therapies.

Impacts for participants – and the entire biopharmaceutical ecosystem

  • Flexible solutions and assets that will catalyze advances across the biopharmaceutical manufacturing field, solving problems that are difficult or impossible to solve individually
  • Core standardized platforms, tools, and processes that all participants can apply to their own future projects—saving time, effort, and money
  • Interdisciplinary, cross-organizational insights that will provide industrially-relevant direction and inform strategic, specific outreach to the NIIMBL community (e.g. RFI, RFA, RFP) 

Why participate in NIIMBL-led programs?

  • Build your organization’s authority as, and connection to, industry leadership
  • Ensure the strategic direction of the industry aligns with your organization’s interests
  • Access your organization’s current state relative to others in the space
  • Access and leverage real-time “market research” and advanced technologies from a broad cross-section of the community to inform your own strategic direction
  • Help your employees/colleagues build expertise, industry awareness, and leadership skills
Big data
Process intensification
Vaccine manufacturing
Viral vector manufacturing & analytics

Big data

Mission
Accelerate the development and adoption of data-driven innovation and standards to increase the speed and resilience of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Vision
Data-driven technologies optimize the productivity of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and accelerate the delivery of high-quality medicines to patients.

Learn more about Big Data Program

Process intensification

By 2029, the PI program proposes to invent, design, demonstrate, and support commercialization of integrated biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology to transform drug substance (DS) and drug product (DP) manufacturing capability, enabling the following:

  • Improved control, robustness, and security of supply
  • Dramatically reduced capital and operating cost so it is much less of a barrier to the availability of capacity, innovation, or change, and supports global access to biologics medicines
  • Flexibility of facilities and equipment to supply an extremely diverse and changing portfolio of products in the face of uncertainty and changing volume demand
  • Faster product development and supply chain velocity
  • Sustainable raw materials, components, and energy use


Learn more about Process Intensification Program

Vaccine manufacturing

Mission
Accelerate the implementation of new vaccine manufacturing technologies across multiple platform processes by addressing workforce and technology issues that U.S. and global vaccine manufacturers and suppliers face and establishing a Center of Excellence for Vaccine Analytics and Assays.

Vision
Accelerate the production of innovative vaccines by ensuring that both U.S.-based and global vaccine manufacturers and suppliers have adequate support to implement advanced manufacturing and product characterization processes.

Learn more about Vaccine Manufacturing Program

Viral vector manufacturing & analytics

Mission
Develop and make broadly available a robust, economically viable, shared-access platform for the technical development, manufacturing, and characterization of AAV-based gene therapy vectors. Ensure that workforce training for this platform can integrate into existing curriculum or training models to encourage adoption, and integrate improvements into the platform based on feedback from these training programs.

Vision
A gene-based therapeutics industry capable of serving patients across the full spectrum of unmet needs—from prevalent indications to ultra-rare diseases—that has access to high-quality viral vectors without cost or speed limitations.

Learn more about Viral Vectors Program

Big dataarrow down

Big data

Mission
Accelerate the development and adoption of data-driven innovation and standards to increase the speed and resilience of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Vision
Data-driven technologies optimize the productivity of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and accelerate the delivery of high-quality medicines to patients.

Learn more about Big Data Program

Process intensificationarrow down

Process intensification

By 2029, the PI program proposes to invent, design, demonstrate, and support commercialization of integrated biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology to transform drug substance (DS) and drug product (DP) manufacturing capability, enabling the following:

  • Improved control, robustness, and security of supply
  • Dramatically reduced capital and operating cost so it is much less of a barrier to the availability of capacity, innovation, or change, and supports global access to biologics medicines
  • Flexibility of facilities and equipment to supply an extremely diverse and changing portfolio of products in the face of uncertainty and changing volume demand
  • Faster product development and supply chain velocity
  • Sustainable raw materials, components, and energy use


Learn more about Process Intensification Program

Vaccine manufacturingarrow down

Vaccine manufacturing

Mission
Accelerate the implementation of new vaccine manufacturing technologies across multiple platform processes by addressing workforce and technology issues that U.S. and global vaccine manufacturers and suppliers face and establishing a Center of Excellence for Vaccine Analytics and Assays.

Vision
Accelerate the production of innovative vaccines by ensuring that both U.S.-based and global vaccine manufacturers and suppliers have adequate support to implement advanced manufacturing and product characterization processes.

Learn more about Vaccine Manufacturing Program

Viral vector manufacturing & analyticsarrow down

Viral vector manufacturing & analytics

Mission
Develop and make broadly available a robust, economically viable, shared-access platform for the technical development, manufacturing, and characterization of AAV-based gene therapy vectors. Ensure that workforce training for this platform can integrate into existing curriculum or training models to encourage adoption, and integrate improvements into the platform based on feedback from these training programs.

Vision
A gene-based therapeutics industry capable of serving patients across the full spectrum of unmet needs—from prevalent indications to ultra-rare diseases—that has access to high-quality viral vectors without cost or speed limitations.

Learn more about Viral Vectors Program

Workforce programs

NIIMBL recognizes it’s critical to increase interest in biopharma manufacturing careers in diverse populations (e.g., college/pre-college students, adults, displaced workers, disadvantaged populations, transitioning military) and foster connections between industry and academia to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce.

NIIMBL eXperience

The NIIMBL eXperience is a hands-on, expenses-paid week-long program for college first years and sophomores to gain real-world insight into career possibilities in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

It’s also an opportunity for NIIMBL academic or non-profit Member organizations to serve as regional lead organizations that will plan, recruit students, and run a NIIMBL eXperience program in their region.

Faculty fellows

The NIIMBL Faculty Fellows program provides financial support for faculty or instructional staff at universities and community colleges to pursue a sabbatical either at an industry member or at NIIMBL’s Headquarters in Delaware to support NIIMBL-led projects.

Become a member

We offer a variety of membership options that give you the flexibility to choose your organization’s level of engagement based on technology interests and priorities.