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Competition heating-up for ARPA-H headquarters

Axios, a national online newsfeed, recently reported that two neighboring states have made or plan to make their cases to the Department of Health and Human Services for the newly funded Advanced Research Project Agency for Health, or ARPA-H.

Similar in nature to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for defense-focused innovations and ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy) for energy-related technologies, ARPA-H will provide a novel pathway to catalyzing transformative health breakthroughs that cannot readily be accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity.

Both Georgia and North Carolina have publicly announced their efforts that include bipartisan letters from their respective Congressional leaders.

  • About the Peach State effort, Axios Atlanta noted the states medical universities, high global connectivity via the Atlanta airport, and assets like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Carter Center, and Task Force for Global Health. “We have a history of combating global disease and building an infrastructure that’s unique in the nation,” the coalition’s leader was quoted as saying.
  • Axios Raleigh cited the Tarheel State’s well-regarded universities including Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the presence of many life sciences/biotechnology companies, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Other states that are reportedly interested include Massachusetts and Texas and the cities of Cleveland, OH and Philadelphia. No word on possible interest by leaders in Tennessee and cities like Nashville or Memphis that have robust healthcare assets.

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