It may not be well known outside of federal government circles, but the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program (JWMRP) is propelling innovation in science and technology in ways that few other organizations can.

The program focuses on funding unique initiatives that improve the health, wellness, and readiness of our U.S. service members, directly enhancing our nation’s national security. More importantly, the problems that the DoD seeks to solve are not exclusive to just the military, but can ultimately address the public sector as a whole.

And that’s where the JWMRP intersects with the innovation economy.

A project of the Congressionally Mandated Medical Research Programs, the Joint Warfare program is just one part of the DoD’s effort to direct funding to needed research, provide health support to all military branches, increase the readiness level of military personnel, increase life-saving and life-enhancing measures, decrease the cost of care, protect national security, and incorporate innovative methods into the public health sector. The agency accomplishes these goals by focusing on projects related to medical simulation and information sciences, military infectious diseases, military operational medicine, combat casualty care, radiation health effects, and clinical & rehabilitative medicine.

As of FY 2018, the DoD has a budget of more than $1.38 billion to fund these various efforts, and is currently funding a range of research studies addressing everything from Alzheimer’s, to autism, to cancer, lupus, Gulf War Syndrome and more. The Joint Warfare Medical Research Program — which complements the Defense Medical R&D Program by facilitating the further development of promising medical solutions through the acquisition process — is currently working with a $50 million annual budget.

The JWMRP supports research projects across several research topics and disciplines. Research and product development efforts funded by the JWMRP include:

  • Development of a transportable pathogen reduction and blood safety system
  • Prototype development and testing of a miniaturized, remotely controlled, image guided surgical robot for peritoneal cavity surgery
  • Development of a non-electric, disposable IV infusion pump
  • Intelligent tutoring system for emergency preparedness training
  • Phase III pivotal clinical trial for a Norovirus vaccine
  • Phase II Malaria clinical trial with the first live attenuated vaccine against protozoal disease in humans
  • Development of a passive physiological monitoring system for use during medical evacuation
  • Development and clinical trial of a food supplement to prevent travelers’ diarrhea
  • Development and evaluation of implantable nanosensors to monitor key physiological parameters of warfighter health
  • Pivotal study on the regulatory approval pathway for a drug to treat acute radiation syndrome
  • Accelerating the development of the opioid Sufentanil for pain treatment
  • Development of bioengineered corneas for transplantation

For venture capitalists, the JWMRP is a valuable pipeline connecting government-funded research to the innovation economy, spinning off new technologies and companies to the benefit of the private sector.

To learn more about the the Joint Warfare Medical Research Program and its currently priorities, take a look at our latest deep dive presentation.