The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is looking to partner with commercial organizations to design and manufacture a respirator through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). The CRADA aims to develop a new respirator for healthcare workers under a project called “Better Respiratory Equipment using Advanced Technologies”.
The idea for the project grew from the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation in 2007 to take steps towards better respiratory protection for healthcare workers. To respond to this need, the VA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health set up a work group to bring a new respirator to the U.S. Marketplace.
The VA’s medical centers employ 118,000 healthcare workers who wear and discharge 1.6 million respirators per year at 900 plus outpatient clinics, 150 plus hospitals and 136 nursing homes.
Since the VHA has an extensive healthcare system, the agency wants to see the development of one or more new respirators in the U.S. marketplace in partnership with other Federal partners. VA hospitals will provide an excellent test environment to assess and guide prototype design, development, and revision. The candidate organization must have the capability to develop and bring to market a new respirator prototype using advanced technologies within 6 to 12 months.
In considering candidates, special consideration will be given to small business firms and consortia involving small businesses. Letters of interest are due by January 8, 2010. This information should be sent to Kimberly Rumping, The National Center for Occupational Health and Infection Control, Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards, VHA, 1601 SW Archer Road (151B), Gainesville, Florida 32608 or email Kimberly.Rumping@va.gov.