Request for Information (RFI): Identifying Organizations with the Appropriate Expertise to Participate in a Mobile Health (mHealth) Collaborative Public-Private Partnership

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-151

Key Dates
Release Date: September 14, 2012
Response Date:  October 5, 2012

Issued by
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)


This request for information (RFI) seeks to identify organizations with the appropriate expertise to serve as managing partner and/or participants for the “mHealth Public-Private Partnership” (mHealth PPP) with the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The mission of the mHealth PPP is to facilitate research and evidence collection to enable the appropriate use of wireless devices to improve health in both the domestic and global environment. The partnership will achieve its mission through collaboration between public (government agencies and institutes), civil society (academia, NGOs, philanthropic institutions) and private sector entities. An ideal managing partner entity in this venture would be able to convene stakeholders, establish and implement a governance structure, raise funds in support of the mHealth PPP’s mission, provide project management, and to manage various operations of the mHealth PPP, such as contracts and grant making. Furthermore, the managing partner would be expected to explore potential partnership opportunities to extend and enhance the work of the mHealth PPP, including collaborations with other organizations and/or groups that could advance the mission of the mHealth PPP. 

OBSSR also seeks to identify and hear from organizations, agencies, institutions, companies and other entities that have interest in joining such a PPP effort to bring the community together in an mHealth PPP in order to enable the broad uptake of mobile and wireless technologies to improve health.  Participation may involve collaborating in and/or funding research efforts to gain evidence and/or other aspects of engaging the mHealth ecosystem that can be served via the establishment of a PPP.   

This RFI serves to notify the community that OBSSR is considering establishing the mHealth PPP public-private partnership described above, and to provide all interested parties an opportunity to comment.


With this RFI, OBSSR expresses the interest in entering into an mHealth PPP to address a profound public need to better utilize mobile technologies to improve health research, health care and health prevention efforts. This mHealth PPP is expected to start in 2012, as a collaboration of stakeholders with the objective to support objective-driven projects carried out jointly by the mHealth PPP partners to accelerate the science of mHealth, generate information on the mHealth regulatory and payment landscapes, and create an infrastructure for supporting education and integration of stakeholders on mHealth opportunities and challenges. The mHealth PPP is an example of a PPP, which is a means to accomplish NIH’s mission to improve the public health through bio-behavioral research in a faster, more economical, and more effective way by leveraging its resources in synergy with those of public and private partners. PPPs benefit academia by increasing access to resources for research and training while extending the application of findings more directly into improvements in health. PPPs benefit industry by increasing the knowledge base and facilitating access to thought leaders and policy-makers in the setting of a scientific exchange of information and collaboration.  Most critically, PPPs benefit patients and the public by accelerating the expansion of a robust body of basic, translational and applied science to support regulatory decision-making, thereby facilitating the development of safe and effective interventions and preventive strategies.  When the partnership includes expertise in public health, mHealth PPPs can also increase the access to new interventions and preventive strategies. OBSSR intends to contribute subject matter expertise and staff time, provide access to scientific infrastructure at NIH, and serve in a leadership role by spearheading the development of this mHealth PPP. The contributions of other partners can include monetary support, in-kind contributions of expertise, time, tools data sets, access to patient populations, and so on.

Information Requested

Interested parties should specifically address the mobile technology and health/research expertise they possess and the ways in which this expertise would support the mission of the mHealth PPP. In addition, some organizations may have additional expertise that may be valuable to the venture, such as project management, fundraising, and advisory capabilities; as noted below, these too should be precisely specified.  

Entities responding to this RFI are requested to specify whether they are interested in the role of managing partner or member and to submit the following information:


Responses will be accepted through Monday, October 5, 2012. Please email your response to the above inquiries to:

In your response, please also provide the following (and include the Notice number NOT-OD-12-151 in the subject line):

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of OBSSR. OBSSR does not intend to award a grant or contract to pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for OBSSR’s use of such information. 

Acknowledgment of receipt of responses may not be made, nor will respondents be notified of OBSSR’s evaluation of the information received. No basis for claims against OBSSR shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or OBSSR’s use of such information as either part of our evaluation process or in developing specifications for any subsequent announcement. Responses will be held confidential. Any proprietary information should be so marked.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Wendy J. Nilsen, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Office of the Director, NIH
31 Center Drive, Building 31, Room B1-C19; MSC 2027
Bethesda, MD  20892-2027
Telephone:  (301) 496-0979
Fax: (301) 402-1150

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