Two Is Better Than One: CDC and NIAID Win Interagency Partnership Award and COVID-19 Distinction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have been rewarded for their partnership from the 2021 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) awards. NIH was awarded six of the 33 awards across nine different technology transfer categories, in addition to a COVID-19 Response award, that the FLC gave out. The FLC supports federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers by encouraging commercialization best practices and creating opportunities to move federal technologies from the labs and into the marketplace and each year rewards the technology transfer work that makes the largest impact.

The CDC and NIAID had already developed a new approach to sharing samples during a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) during the Zika pandemic, which enabled them to respond quickly and efficiently to access and share samples of SARS-CoV-2 early in the outbreak. They had developed the Emergency Use Simple Letter Agreement (EUSLA), a streamlined MTA, to allow the use of materials needed to prevent, detect, prepare for, and respond to, during an emergency situation. Another effort that proved invaluable was a biorepository that can receive, grow, and validate viral isolates and other materials to distribute as needed. This prior work allowed the CDC and NIAID to rapidly share the materials related to SARS-CoV-2. For NIAID and the CDC’s work on “SARS-CoV-2 Virus Specimen and Material Sharing” they have received the Interagency Partnership award. A special COVID-19 award distinction was also given this year to recognize federal technology transfer’s impact on the fight against COVID-19, and NIAID and the CDC won this distinction along with their Interagency Partnership award.