The national a2 Pilot Awards competition is hosted annually by the a2 Collective and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, through the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratories (AITC) for Aging Research program.
NIA has earmarked $40 million to fund demonstration technology projects that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) approaches and technology to improve care and health outcomes for older Americans, including persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) and their caregivers.
If you have any questions about the online application or general application process of the a2 Pilot Awards, please email us here. For any specific questions about your pilot project scope or about collaborating with an AITC, we suggest that you email the AITC directly to establish a dialogue. Additionally, we have posted a brief video overview from our recent Q&A Webinar on the a2 Pilot Awards and Collaboratories here.
Applications for the third annual a2 Pilot Awards will be accepted from May 1 to July 31, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET.
The a2 Collective comprises three Collaboratories (AITCs) centered at Johns Hopkins University (JH AITC), the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MassAITC), and the University of Pennsylvania (PennAITech) and a Coordinating Center managed by Rose Li & Associates, Inc. (RLA). Each AITC will support pilot projects focused on healthy aging and AD/ADRD.
All AITCs are multidisciplinary research centers that provide research translation support; state-of-the-art facilities; and access to software and hardware platforms, datasets and other resources, and population study sites. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit each AITC website to determine the best fit for a proposed project.
Applicants may request up to $200,000 in non-dilutive direct costs to be expended within a 12-month period. Most funded project budgets are in the $50,000 to $150,000 range. Higher amounts, multi-year commitments, and extensions may be selectively granted on a case-by-case basis by the awarding AITC.
If the awarded applicant institution has a federally negotiated indirect rate, additional indirect costs can be requested at that indirect rate. For applicant institutions without federally negotiated indirect rates, the maximum indirect cost rate is 10% of direct costs.
Awardees will also be eligible to apply for $10,000 in AWS credits through the Amazon AWS Activate program.
Applicant institutions can be any fiscally responsible organization with a Unique Entity ID (UEI) number within the United States, which includes for-profit organizations, higher education institutions, other nonprofits, eligible agencies of the federal government, local government entities, and other organizations.
The principal investigator is not required to have a PhD or MD but must demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and environment necessary to carry out the proposed project. Applicants from populations that are underrepresented in the AI and technology fields as well as individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply for funding.
Pilot projects selected for funding consideration will be required to submit additional documentation, including NIH biosketches, milestone-based budget justifications, human subjects protection information and subject recruitment criteria as appropriate, and other due diligence documents.
Pilot project applications will be reviewed on a number of factors, including the project’s scientific merit, potential commercial or translational impact, and team and project plan strength.
Additional consideration may be given to projects that leverage an AITC’s resources or facilities or generate datasets, software, or hardware that might benefit the AITC research community at large. Other areas of consideration might include go-to-market strategy, regulatory/reimbursement pathways, and mitigation of health disparities across the United States, including improving access to and delivery of care in rural areas.
A preview of the a2 Pilot Awards application and review criteria as well as information about each AITC is available to download.