Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CIRM Grant Oversight Receives $150,000 Boost

SAN FRANCISCO – A key panel of CIRM directors Tuesday approved a $150,000 increase in a contract to help improve the agency's important grants management efforts after being told that the task has become bigger and more complicated.

The boost in the $200,000 contract with Kutir Corp. of Newark, Ca., was ratified on an 8-0 vote by the Governance Subcommittee.

John Robson
, vice president for operations of CIRM, told the directors' panel that the agency “could not run our program” without Kutir. The grants management system is involved in everything from the initial request for applications to conflicts of interests to monitoring grant progress reports.

Currently CIRM has approved $761 million in grants and is expected to hit the $1 billion mark later this year.

Following the meeting, Robson took issue with our July 13 item in which we described the grants management system as in “disarray.” He said that the system does provides the necessary information but is labor and time intensive. Robson indicated that he expected that situation to improve with additional work by Kutir.

Robson also said that he expected the current grant management system to save money compared to the previous arrangement with Grantium. Robson said CIRM and Grantium had come to the “mutual conclusion” that the Grantium system was “not a good fit.”

Grantium originally had a $702,000 contract with CIRM. Robson told the California Stem Cell Report that the firm had been paid $260,000 and was no longer under contract. CIRM is also not engaged in legal action involving Grantium.

Directors also asked for a more detailed breakdown later on expenditures for the grants management system. Sphere: Related Content

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