San Francisco, California - CIRM, California’s stem cell agency, has opened its new on-line application portal and is now accepting submissions for the first round of funding under CIRM 2.0, our radical overhaul of the way we do business.

The first three programs under the initiative are for projects that are ready to start a clinical trial or are doing the work required by the Food and Drug Administration to gain approval for a clinical trial.

CIRM 2.0 implements more efficient systems and programs that place an added emphasis on speed, partnerships, and patients. Under 2.0 the average time from application to funding is reduced from 22 months to just 120 days. The program also allows new clinical stage projects to be submitted to CIRM year round instead of only once or twice a year as in the past.

“This is a truly new way of thinking about the way we operate,” says Jonathan Thomas, J.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the CIRM Board. “By introducing these changes we hope to increase not just the number of researchers applying for support but also to increase the quality of those applications. The more high quality programs we can move into clinical trials, the better the chances for finding new therapies to help people in need.”

For applicants, CIRM 2.0 also offers a new approach with the Agency acting not as a passive funding source, but instead as an active investor, devoting significant internal resources and leveraging our vast external team of world-class subject matter experts to advance the projects it selects.

In December the CIRM Board approved $50 million in funding to invest in clinical trials and late-stage preclinical work for the first six months of the program. Later in 2015 CIRM will present proposals to the Board to expand the program to include earlier stage projects in the discovery and translational stages.

The program descriptions and links to the application forms for the first three new programs can be found on the CIRM website:

“Over the past ten years CIRM has done a remarkable job of helping advance the field of stem cell research,” says Thomas. “We believe that CIRM 2.0 will build on that legacy, and help us make even faster, better progress towards our goal of finding new treatments and even cures for deadly diseases.”