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A vibrant American biomedical research enterprise requires a constant infusion of young scientists proposing and conducting important, innovative research. Demographic analyses indicate that the biomedical research workforce has been aging, with scientists launching independent academic laboratories much later in their lives than previously. In addition, those starting new laboratories encounter strong pressures discouraging novel, potentially groundbreaking research. These two factors represent a major threat to the vitality of biomedical research in the U.S. Based on recent analyses demonstrating the success of such programs, we propose that the NIH expand by ten-fold its use of the New Innovator award—an award available only to young scientists proposing innovative research. We argue that this action, accompanied by two related policy changes, would dramatically improve the U.S. biomedical research enterprise.