Notice to Announce the National Eye Institute (NEI) Draft Strategic Plan, 2020 Vision for the Future; Request for Information

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)]
[Page 67277]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2019-26451]
National Institutes of Health
Notice to Announce the National Eye Institute (NEI) Draft
Strategic Plan, 2020 Vision for the Future; Request for Information
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health, HHS.
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to gather broad
public input to assist the National Eye Institute (NEI), National
Institutes of Health (NIH) in developing its next strategic plan
titled, 2020 Vision for the Future. NEI invites input from vison
researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals,
patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or
professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested
members of the public. Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit
a single response that reflects the views of their organization and
their membership as a whole.
DATES: This Request for Information is open for public comment for a
period of 55 days. Comments must be received by January 8, 2020 to
ensure consideration.
ADDRESSES: Comments must be submitted at electronically using the web-
based form available at
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please direct all inquiries to
[email protected] and to Nora Wong, 301-496-4308, [email protected].
To learn about strategic planning activities at NEI, please visit
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Last year, NEI celebrated the 50th
anniversary since being established by Congress established in 1968.
NEI highlighted the multitude of scientific and medical advances made
by NEI-supported researchers and the impacts on vision care. Charged to
protect and preserve the vision of the American people, NEI continues
to support basic and clinical research that unravels the mysteries of
how vision works at a fundamental level and provides patients with new
therapies and standards of care that maintain and improve quality of
    The NEI 50th Anniversary also provoked the scientific, medical, and
patient communities to reflect upon gaps and opportunities in vision
research. The NEI Strategic Plan seeks to distill those reflections
into a cohesive document that will guide efforts to address those gaps
and opportunities over the next five years. Ultimately, NEI
stakeholders provide the catalyst for identifying and implementing the
goals. To that end, NEI welcomes feedback from stakeholders in the
drafting of the strategic plan.
    In accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act, NIH institutes are
required to regularly update their strategic plans.
    In 2012, NEI released its strategic plan, ``Vision Research: Needs,
Gaps, and Opportunities'' ( ), organized around its six core
anatomically focused program areas (Retinal Diseases; Corneal Diseases;
Lens and Cataract; Glaucoma and Optic Neuropathies; Strabismus,
Amblyopia, and Visual Processing; Low Vision and Blindness
Rehabilitation). In developing that plan, NEI created panels of
scientists and patient representatives for each program. The plan also
sparked the Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI), which sought broad-based
community input to identify ideas to transform vision research and
care. NEI wants to build on some of the ideas generated through AGI and
has proposed cross-cutting Areas of Emphasis to organize thinking for
the next NEI strategic plan.
    NEI is seeking input on the following questions:
     What are the most significant scientific discoveries in
vision research since 2012?
     What new opportunities have been enabled by scientific
discoveries or technology development?
     What needs and gaps in research, health, and quality-of-
life should be addressed by the NEI?
    To organize the planning process, NEI has proposed the following
seven cross-cutting Areas of Emphasis to foster dialogues across
traditional vision research disciplines and to best capitalize on
recent scientific opportunities. NEI is particularly interested in
input relating to these areas of emphasis. However, NEI has always
been--and will continue to be--committed to high quality investigator-
initiated research and will fund the best science across the broad
spectrum of vision research.
Visual System in Health and Disease
    [cir] From Genes to Disease Mechanisms
    [cir] Biology and Neuroscience of Vision
    [cir] Immune System & Eye Health
Capitalizing on Emerging Fields
    [cir] Regenerative Medicine
    [cir] Data Science
Preventing Vision Loss and Enhancing Well-Being
    [cir] Individual Quality of Life
    [cir] Public Health & Disparities Research
    To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted electronically
using the web-based form available at
Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously.
Providing contact information is optional. Therefore, the web form may
not provide confirmation of response submission. Please do not include
any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish
to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive
information should not be included in responses. Comments submitted
will be compiled for discussion and incorporated into the strategic
plan as appropriate. Any personal identifiers (personal names, email
addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled.
    This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not
a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the
United States (U.S.) Government to provide support for any ideas
identified in response to it. Please note that the U.S Government will
not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of
that information.
    The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual
feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use
the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion.
The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on
public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the
science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or
cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding
opportunity announcements.
    Dated: December 3, 2019.
Shefa Gordon,
Associate Director for Science Policy and Legislation, National Eye
Institute, National Institutes of Health.
[FR Doc. 2019-26451 Filed 12-6-19; 8:45 am]