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NIO Pitches Neurotech Bill By Focusing On Job Creation Potential

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

The Neurotechnology Industry Organization is soliciting congressional support for the recently reintroduced National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) Act by touting the bill's potential for job creation, according to Executive Director Zack Lynch

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National Neurotechnology Initiative Act

Bill authorizing $200 million in new federal funds for brain and central nervous system research is reintroduced as S. 586 on March 12 by Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., and in the House as as H.R. 1483 by Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy, D-R.I., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The same legislators introduced the bill in the House and Senate in May 2008 as H.R. 5989 and S. 2989, respectively (1"The Gray Sheet" June 9, 2008, p. 4). The bills were then referred to the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate HELP Committee, but hearings have yet to be held on the initiative. According to the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, which is leading industry advocacy for the act, NNTI is "designed to increase private investment and accelerate the development of treatments reaching the market [and] employs targeted increases in funding to improve federal research coordination and ease bottlenecks that inhibit the development of treatments for brain-related illnesses." NIO points out that $200 million is less than 4% of the current federal neuroscience research budget. The group says that brain-related illnesses impose a $1 trillion annual burden on the U.S. economy in healthcare costs and lost income

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