Biotechnology start-ups have long relied on grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund the research-and-development process for new drugs, medical devices and disease treatments. Every year, the agency is required by law to set aside 2.8 percent of its research budget — $650 million in 2009 — for small businesses and the commercialization of technologies developed at universities. But when nearly $10 billion in stimulus funds went to the NIH, a last-minute change in the legislation exempted the agency from the requirement. That means the NIH does not have an obligation to reserve a portion of the money to small businesses.
Since this is the time of year when we celebrate the founding of the United States as a nation on July 4, 1776 and since the Internet has become an ad-hoc nation of its own with over a billion citizens, it’s the perfect time to have a little fun and speculate about who the people of the Internet would choose if they could elect a leader. Others have joked about this idea in the past. Now it’s time to get serious — or at least as serious as you can for a mock election. I’d like to nominate four candidates for the fictional office of President of the Internet. All four are very talented individuals that have a vision of where the Internet needs to go and each would lead the Internet into an even brighter future.