Funding Opportunity Available for the Research and Development of a Portable Oxygen Device

Funding Opportunity Available for the Research

and Development of a Portable Oxygen Device


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) announces a funding opportunity to develop a lightweight continuous flow portable oxygen device. 

The NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invite small businesses to submit proposals under an SBIR Contract Solicitation. Companies with the capability to conduct research and development in any health-related topic areas are encouraged to participate. 


The Need 

The need for an improved oxygen delivery device came to light at The LAM Foundation's 2017 Patient Benefit Conference in Los Angeles. The conference sought to find innovative solutions to improve the lives of women living with LAM that could be implemented in five years or less. 

Current Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) tend not to meet the needs of those with advanced-stage lung disease or those seeking a higher quality of life. 

The majority of POCs deliver a pulsed oxygen flow setting of 3 to 5 synchronized with the breathing cycle, but when higher oxygen levels are needed, the pulsed mode is insufficient for routine exertion, housework, or tending to children. Current POCs with a higher continuous flow of oxygen (up to 3 liters per minute) are often too heavy to carry in a shoulder bag or backpack. Additionally, most current POCs are difficult to adjust and do not allow remote oxygen flow adjustment. Various modes are needed to allow for flexibility in changing the oxygen flow of the device. 

"These needs have been expressed for many years by LAM patients, but we are such a small group of lung patients that no company could afford to develop a device just for LAM patients," said LAM patient, Bev Jackson. "This project will benefit all lung patients who depend on supplemental oxygen. This device will allow lung patients to be more active without having to lug around cumbersome equipment when they want to get outside of the home."


Project Goals

This project aims to develop a lightweight, portable oxygen device with the following attributes:

  • The flow rate must be adjustable between 1 and 5 liters per minute, both for continuous and pulsed flow options.
  • The oxygen delivery system must be light, with a maximum total weight of 5 pounds, so the user can easily carry it hands-free.
  • If powered by a battery, the battery must last a minimum of 2 hours at the continuous flow rate of 5 liters per minute.
  • The POC system must provide a means to remotely control the flow of oxygen. The remote control must enable adjustment easily, without having to remove it from the backpack or bag.
  • FDA and FAA approval of the device.


Deadline & Award Budget 

All proposals are due by October 26, 2020, at 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

Award Budget is as follows, Phase I: $300,000 for 12 months; Phase II: $2,000,000 for two years.


For more information on applying, click here (project details on pages 102 – 104)