Region’s life sciences sector to benefit from ARPA-H hub and spoke model
AUSTIN, Texas — Opportunity Austin—the economic development organization aimed at fostering job-creating investment in the five-county Central Texas region—released the following information regarding Austin being selected as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health innovation network. The network, part of a $2.5 billion federal initiative, aims to catalyze game-changing breakthroughs in science and medicine that improve health outcomes by driving innovative ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases. ARPA-H is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services anchored by three ARPA-H regional hubs, including a customer experience hub in Dallas, and regional centers with a growing network of spokes from around the country.
“The burgeoning life sciences industry in the Austin region is perfectly positioned to support and benefit from this important nationwide initiative,” Gary Farmer, chairman and interim CEO, Opportunity Austin, said. “OA is focused on life science and innovation as part of our 5.0 strategy, and this region has an ecosystem that supports research, innovation & technology that will play a big role in advancing medical research. Changing the game on the fight against these diseases with no current cure is going to take collaboration, and this hub and spoke model fits perfectly for the relationships we have already built in Texas and across the country.”
The Central Texas region is ranked as one of the top emerging markets for the life sciences with companies covering medical device, pharma, diagnostics, biotech, contract research/clinical trials. Anchored by The University of Texas, a Tier 1 Research university with over 50 research units dedicated to the life sciences, and partnered with Dell Medical School—which was integral in helping the region be selected—companies in Central Texas enjoy access to advances in research and development.
“In regard to innovating in medicine and health – and making a real impact on patients – our goals are closely aligned with the ARPA-H initiative,” Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., dean of Dell Medical School and senior vice president for medical affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, said. “UT is also particularly well-positioned to support this collaborative work through the new University of Texas Medical Center, which includes Dell Medical School as well as deep and broad expertise across the UT campus spanning schools of pharmacy, engineering, nursing, natural sciences and more. This is an exciting time for Austin as our local Life Sciences sector is growing and evolving, and with the convergence of technologies like biotechnology, data analytics and artificial intelligence. By working together, we can expect advances in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology that will impact not just people in Austin and across Texas, but also improve healthcare outcomes nationwide.”
The region has collaborated with Dallas, Houston and San Antonio because it has an ample network of incubators and accelerators that help foster an environment for new technologies to grow in a collaborative environment. Additionally, the region’s higher education institutions like The University of Texas, Texas State University, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Austin Community College and Concordia University provide a critical pipeline for those entering the life sciences and healthcare fields adding to the over 76,000 employees in healthcare and 20,000 in life sciences.
About Opportunity Austin
Opportunity Austin is the economic development organization aimed at fostering job-creating investment in the five-county Central Texas region. Top priorities include boosting economic diversification to proactively strengthen the economy, deepening the talent pool through development and attraction, and keeping the Greater Austin region attractive to entrepreneurs, business leaders and site selectors through advocacy on issues such as comprehensive regional transportation system and regional collaboration. Since 2004, Opportunity Austin has helped bring more than 600,000 total jobs to the Austin region. Learn more about Opportunity Austin here.