Leaders from public and private universities, businesses, nonprofits, trade associations and state government have joined forces to bring the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health headquarters to North Carolina. ARPA-H recently received $1 billion in inaugural funding from Congress to improve the U.S. government’s ability to speed biomedical and health research to prevent, detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer.
The ARPA-H in NC Coalition, facilitated by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, is some 30 partners strong and growing. The Coalition is coordinating efforts locally and in Washington to demonstrate that, with this partnership, ARPA-H can have a rapid, effective start and accomplish its mission in the Tar Heel state. Each partner adds to the case that North Carolina has the expertise, record of entrepreneurial disruption, cross-sector collaboration and scientific innovations. North Carolina translates ideas from initial technology to discovery to development through manufacturing to prevent, treat and potentially cure a range of diseases.
This statewide collaboration follows a recent bipartisan letter from members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation led by Rep. David E. Price and both Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. The bipartisan members urge Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to strongly consider North Carolina, with its unique assets, as the best location for launching ARPA-H’s success
“North Carolina is in an outstanding position to have ARPA-H thrive and quickly fulfill its mission of providing transformational health solutions for all Americans,” said Gary Salamido, president and CEO of the NC Chamber. “In addition to being ranked No. 1 in business according to an annual CNBC poll, our state has a uniquely robust infrastructure of some of the best research, academic, and health care institutions in world to ensure ARPA-H’s success. North Carolina also has one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, providing the agency a steady and ample talent pool as it gets up and running.”
North Carolina has a “demonstrated record of industries partnering with our institutions of higher education across the state to bolster our nation’s health workforce, leading breakthrough biomedical, biotechnology and life sciences research on a global scale,” the letter states. “Our thriving economy, strategic location in the southeastern United States and low cost of living are attracting and retaining the world’s best and brightest. With an unmatched business environment, North Carolina offers a full complement of clinical, STEM, biotech and business training programs to prepare for a workforce skilled in cutting edge research, academia, health care and digital health for both public and private sectors.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper offered his support for bringing ARPA-H’s headquarters to North Carolina stating, “North Carolina is prepared to help do what we do best: Marshal our world-class universities, researchers, biotechnology companies and local leaders to build focused partnerships to solve big challenges. North Carolina is ready to support the most audacious innovations in health care, focused on equity in our practices and outcomes.”
Additionally, North Carolina’s bipartisan, bicameral legislative Life Sciences Caucus supports the effort to bring the ARPA-H headquarters to the state.