The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has added five biotechnology accelerators to a network established in 2018 to help change the nation’s approach to health security threats.
The new additions to the network, established by HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) provide geographic coverage into areas of the country previously under-represented in the network. The five recently selected accelerators are:
- Emory University & Georgia Institute of Technology (Coulter Translational Program) in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Plug and Play Tech Center in San Francisco.
- University of Missouri Midwest BioAccelerator (MU-MBAr) in Columbia, Missouri.
- University Enterprise Labs in partnership with gener8tor in St. Paul-Minneapolis.
- Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“In the first year, our accelerator network reached audiences outside of normal government channels, fostering innovative solutions to improve national health security and to provide business expertise and laboratory space for startups and small businesses,” said Rick Bright, deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response and director of BARDA, in a news release. “By expanding the network into new geographic locations, we will connect with even more companies and entrepreneurs to solve systemic health challenges. The network is helping to revolutionize the way we do business and catalyze innovation across the country.”
The accelerators are tasked with identifying innovative products and solutions developed by entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups and academics around the U.S. to meet biodefense and other health security needs, and then provide these innovators with business and other services, such as regulatory support. Accelerators also introduce innovators to BARDA solicitations for funding consideration.
Currently, accelerators focus on sourcing products or solutions in three areas of interest to BARDA’s Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures:
- Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat (ENACT), which funds technologies and platforms that provide early, actionable information to detect illnesses before people even know they are sick.
- The Solving Sepsis initiative, which focuses on reducing the incidence, morbidity, mortality and cost of sepsis.
- Other disruptive innovations, which seek radically novel technologies that can transform health security.
The network began with eight accelerators located in regional hubs where health security products and technologies in biotechnology, life science research, and medical innovations are heavily concentrated. They are:
- The Center for Biotechnology at Stonybrook in Long Island, New York.
- First Flight Venture Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Life Science Washington Institute in Seattle.
- MedTech Innovator in Los Angeles.
- Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center at UMass in Lowell, Massachusetts.
- New Orleans BioInnovation Center in New Orleans.
- Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute in Houston.
- University City Science Center in Philadelphia.