NEC Urges Administration to Base ARPA-H in New England
On March 15, 2022, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) was created. President Biden proposed this program, “to improve the U.S. government’s ability to speed biomedical and health research.” According to the NIH, ARPA-H will:
- Speed application and implementation of health breakthroughs to serve all patients.
- Foster breakthroughs across various levels — from the molecular to the societal.
- Build capabilities and platforms to revolutionize prevention, treatment, and cures for a range of diseases.
- Support “use-driven” ideas focused on solving practical problems that advance equity and rapidly transform breakthroughs into tangible solutions for all patients.
- Focus on multiple time-limited projects with different approaches to achieve a quantifiable goal.
- Use a stage-gate process, with defined metrics, and inject accountability through meeting these metrics.
- Overcome market failures through critical solutions or incentives.
- Use the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a model to establish a culture of championing innovative ideas in health and medicine.
In November 2022, the New England Council sent a letter to Administration officials proposing that the ARPA-H facilities be placed in New England. As stated in the letter, New England is home to a highly skilled talent pool to supply the quality and quantity of employees that ARPA-H will need. The region’s strong network of researchers, practitioners, and other scientific and medical leaders will serve as an excellent talent pipeline. The letter was sent to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, ARPA-H Director Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, and Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. A copy of the letter was also shared with each member of the New England delegation.