New Funding Opportunity Intended to Strengthen Outbreak Response

May 23, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) through the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) to establish an outbreak response network for disease forecasting to support decision makers during public health emergencies.

The NOFO establishes a new program via cooperative agreement that is intended to support state and local decision-makers in developing and implementing new analytical tools that are best suited for their jurisdictions, based on the best available information. The program supports building and scaling needed capabilities, working with the private sector, academic, and jurisdiction partners, to use data effectively before and during public health emergencies. With these additional capabilities, our communities will be able to use data more effectively to detect, respond, and mitigate public health emergencies. Much like our ability to forecast the severity and landfall of hurricanes, this network will enable us to better predict the trajectory of future outbreaks, empowering response leaders with data and information when they need it most. 

“Infectious disease outbreaks have and will continue to threaten our communities, friends and families,” said Dylan George, Director of CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics. “This network will increase our national capacity to use disease models, analytics, and forecasts to support public health action, prevent infections, protect people, and safeguard economies. The network will also provide desperately needed tools to fight outbreaks quickly and effectively in our communities, where critical response decisions are made.” 

The new program will support advanced development of modeling, forecasting tools, and outbreak analytics through three critical operations: innovation, integration, and implementation. Funding recipients will work alongside CFA to establish a national network to support jurisdiction decision makers before and during future public health emergencies. Additionally, the cooperative agreement will fund recipients to plan, prepare, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks. 

The innovation component will support the development of a pipeline of new analytical methods, tools, or platforms for modeling efforts and will ultimately be used to provide information to public health decision makers. 

The integration component will take the most promising approaches from the innovation pipeline and pilot test one or two approaches at the state, local, tribal, or territorial level to gauge the success of the technique in practical application by public health decision makers. 

The third component, implementation, will take pilot projects that have proven successful and scale them for use across jurisdictions. The goal is to have new, effective analytical tools and approaches to deploy at the local level where critical public health action takes place. 

Prospective funding recipients can apply to one of the three components, and may also apply to serve as coordinator between recipients for each of the three operational components. The network is the next step for CFA to improving decision support at the jurisdictional level, where many key public health decisions are made during an infectious disease outbreak. This funding opportunity will amplify CFA’s mission to support decision makers during public health emergencies using advanced modeling, forecasts, and outbreak analytics. 

CDC release

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