‘Path to Excellence’ Launches New Cohort
NIH recently selected 21 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and 42 businesses for the 2021 cohort of its Path to Excellence and Innovation Initiative, also known as PEI 2.0.
“HBCUs’ ongoing contribution to public health in America is undeniable,” said Diane Frasier, head of contracting activity and director of NIH’s Office of Logistics and Acquisition Management. “Consequently, increasing contracting opportunities with HBCUs is a key component of the NIH Small Business Program Office’s strategic plan.
PEI was created in 2016 specifically to cultivate NIH’s relationships with HBCUs. A 5-year pilot program ended in 2020. The new phase, PEI 2.0, is an 18-month program.
“The mission of the PEI Initiative is to empower HBCUs with the knowledge, resources and skills they need to effectively and consistently compete for and win contracts from NIH,” said Annette Owens-Scarboro, program manager and HBCU coordinator in the NIH Small Business Program Office. “With the launch of PEI 2.0, we will be offering more extensive acquisition training and technical assistance, as well as fostering partnerships between HBCUs and businesses.”
The selected schools are Bowie State University, Central State University, Cheyney University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Fisk University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Savannah State University, Texas Southern University, Tuskegee University, University of Virgin Islands and Xavier University of Louisiana.
The academic institutions were chosen based on capability and capacity to compete for, secure and manage federal contracts, as well as potential to partner with a business with similar capabilities. Businesses were selected by experience and ability to assist HBCUs in navigating the federal procurement system.
NIH will receive program support from its 8a contractor, Supreme Solutions, Inc. Read more about PEI at https://oamp.od.nih.gov/content/nih-path-excellence-innovation-initiative.