NIH seeks the next generation of COVID-19 diagnostics


Press Releases
September 8, 2022

Funded through the RADx Tech program, new tests should feature improved accessibility and performance


The National Institutes of Health has issued two new funding opportunities for diagnostic test manufacturers to develop the next generation of COVID-19 tests, with a major focus on accessibility. The funding opportunities are part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Tech program, managed by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The new programs may award up to $300 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to support the accelerated development of tests and provide regulatory guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The first solicitation is for accessible over-the-counter tests that can be used by people with disabilities, specifically blindness, low vision, fine motor skill difficulties, and aging-related disabilities. Products should be ready for commercialization in 12-24 months. The second solicitation focuses on improving performance of over-the-counter and point-of-care tests as well as integrating universal design features to ensure ease of use. Tests should aim to minimize or eliminate the need for serial testing and performance should be unaffected by variants. Products should be ready for commercialization in 24-36 months.

This effort builds on a highly successful program that has increased the United States testing capacity by billions in the span of two years and compressed the technology development timeline from years to months. Applications can be submitted starting September 20, 2022.

NIBIB Director Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., who leads the RADx Tech program, is available for comment.  

To arrange an interview, contact or call 301-496-3500.

The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Program is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) initiative: The RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing. The initiative has four programs: RADx Tech, RADx Advanced Technology Platforms, RADx Underserved Populations and RADx Radical. It leverages the existing NIH Point-of-Care Technology Research Network. The RADx initiative partners with federal agencies, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, Department of Defense, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Learn more about the RADx initiative and its programs.  

About the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB): NIBIB’s mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. NIBIB supports emerging technology research and development within its internal laboratories and through grants, collaborations, and training. More information is available at the NIBIB website

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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