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Analysis

HHS Looking to Add Innovation Accelerators to DRIVe Network

By Jack O'Brien  
   May 30, 2019

The plan is to build off of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority's current network of eight accelerators established last year.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday that it is aiming to expand its Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) Accelerator Network under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

In June 2018, HHS established a network of eight accelerators through DRIVe to provide funding and support for biotechnology innovators to further the development of products.

Since its launch, DRIVe has provided nearly $6.5 million in funding to healthcare companies developing innovative products.

Now, DRIVe is looking to expand the network geographically as HHS continues to work on promoting healthcare innovation in association with private partners.

Related: HHS Expands Innovation Partnerships with Private Sector

Additionally, the eight current DRIVe accelerators are seeking candidates that are focused on Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat (ENACT), solving sepsis, and "radically innovative" technologies that "transform health security." 

The eight current accelerators: 

  1. The Center for Biotechnology at Stonybrook in Long Island, New York
  2. First Flight Venture Center in Raleigh, North Carolina
  3. Life Science Washington Institute in Seattle
  4. MedTech Innovator in Los Angeles
  5. Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center at UMass in Lowell, Massachusetts
  6. New Orleans BioInnovation Center in New Orleans
  7. Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute in Houston
  8. University City Science Center in Philadelphia  
     

In a statement Wednesday, BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D. said the accelerator network's purpose is to "scout and foster promising solutions" for the nation's health security and bolster the work of health startups. 

“Our accelerators move our reach outside of normal government channels and away from the government norms; they are part of a revolution in the way we do business, making working with us easier and faster than ever,” Bright said.

As previously reported by HealthLeaders, DRIVe made multiple technological investments earlier this year in an effort to better detect pathogens and diagnose sepsis.

Related: Innovators Could Receive up to $8M for Early Detection of Sepsis and Pathogens

According to the application listing on Grants.gov, eligible applicants include small businesses, private academic institutions, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and for-profit organizations.

The estimated total program funding is $500,000, with an award ceiling of $100,000 and an award floor of $75,000.

The current closing date for applications to join the DRIVe Accelerator Network is July 23.

Related: HHS Extends Comment Period for Interoperability Proposed Rules to June 3

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: LONDON, UK - NOVEMBER 17TH 2017: The homepage of the official website for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, also known as the Health Department, on 17th November 2017. - Image / Editorial credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com


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