The Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s mission is to cure Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). But how do we help the field move from where we are now to curing this chronic disease? How do you, as a potential grant applicant, align what you need with our resources, tools and opportunities? And of course how do we, together, have a greater impact on the lives of those who suffer from IBD?
Over the course of my first year at the Rainin Foundation, we grappled with these questions by examining the state of the field, reflecting on our past funding strategies and outcomes, and leveraging the philanthropic vision of our leadership. That process led us to a new strategic focus for our growing Health portfolio. We have set our sights on dramatically transforming the prediction and prevention of IBD on our way to finding a cure. Our aim is to be more patient-focused in our funding priorities and more proactive. Specifically, we will seek out the field’s leading scientific and medical researchers, identify promising new ideas, and promote innovative collaborations.
As a first step, we launched an online resource to share our new strategy. It’s designed to guide potential grantees, inspire collaborations, and document the impact we’re making in the field. I had the pleasure of previewing this website and our new strategy at our annual Innovations Symposium.
As I outlined then, we’ve identified key pathways toward preventing and predicting IBD:
- Basic and translational scientific research that helps the field advance along the spectrum from discovery science to direct patient impact.
- Networks that connect investigators to new tools and knowledge, and that create synergistic joint funding ventures.
- Complementary approaches that expand patient treatment options and add to our understanding of the disease.
Our Next Steps Together
Your response has provided gratifying confirmation for this approach. Applications for our 2018 Synergy Awards increased more than three-fold over last year. We have also been fielding inquiries about our Innovator Awards far in advance of our February 15, 2018 application deadline.
The Rainin Foundation takes bold steps in funding strategies across all of our programs. We act on the belief that the beginning of an idea is where we can make the greatest impact.
With our new Health strategy, our aim is to become more of an initiator in the field. We will solicit innovative, translational projects and create collaborative opportunities in research, treatment and funding, all with an eye toward patient impact. Furthermore, in the near future, we will be announcing the first of many joint funding initiatives with fellow funders.
We also invite you to identify critical needs to advance the prediction and prevention of IBD.
- Do you need better access to patient samples?
- Resources to support multi-investigator research or ideas for complementary approaches?
- Perhaps you are in need of potential industry partner contacts?
We’re eager to align our strategic priorities with what you need to help transform patient outcomes. I look forward to our next steps together.
Laura Wilson, PhD
Director, Health Strategy & Ventures
Laura leads the strategic direction for the Foundation’s Health program by collaborating with leading scientific and medical researchers, as well as building partnerships with organizations and international stakeholders to expand and advance innovative Inflammatory Bowel Disease research. Read more.