(a) The commissioner shall establish a grant program to award grants to institutions in Minnesota for research into spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Grants shall be awarded to conduct research into new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for the functional improvement of people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Research topics may include, but are not limited to, pharmaceutical, medical device, brain stimulus, and rehabilitative approaches and techniques. The commissioner, in consultation with the advisory council established under section 136A.902, shall award 50 percent of the grant funds for research involving spinal cord injuries and 50 percent to research involving traumatic brain injuries. In addition to the amounts appropriated by law, the commissioner may accept additional funds from private and public sources. Amounts received from these sources are appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes of issuing grants under this section.
(b) A spinal cord and traumatic brain injury grant account is established in the special revenue fund. Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner to make grants and to administer the grant program under this section. Appropriations to the commissioner for the program are for transfer to the account. Appropriations from the account do not cancel and are available until expended.
By January 15, 2016, and each January 15 thereafter, the commissioner shall submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees having jurisdiction over the Office of Higher Education, specifying the institutions receiving grants under this section and the purposes for which the grant funds were used.