ARPA-H launches nationwide health innovation network


ARPA-H announces site selections by launching nationwide health innovation network

Hubs in Texas and greater Boston area and related spokes will represent diverse American geographies

Today, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the launch of ARPANET-H, a nationwide health innovation network anchored by three ARPA-H regional hubs. The hubs will be mission-focused, regional centers with a growing network of spokes from around the country representing the diversity of people, settings, and capabilities that encompass the American health ecosystem.

Together, the hubs and spokes will collaborate with ARPA-H to catalyze game-changing breakthroughs in science and medicine that improve health outcomes. ARPANET-H will enable health problems to be solved faster, with accessible, equitable solutions reaching the American public more quickly. The network advances President Biden’s Unity Agenda by driving innovation of new ways to prevent, detect, and treat for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other diseases.

“ARPANET-H is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and innovation in health care. With its vast array of cutting-edge health capabilities, this dynamic nationwide network embodies our unwavering mission to propel forward health outcomes in every corner of the country – and beyond,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“ARPA-H has an enormous opportunity and responsibility to improve the well-being of all Americans,” said ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D. “Through this nationwide hub-and-spoke network, ARPANET-H will enable ARPA-H to create breakthrough capabilities and achieve health outcomes for everyone that are accessible, tangible, and measurably better. Regardless of location, ARPA-H funding will support the best and brightest ideas across the country, with opportunities for universities, companies, and non-traditional performers.

“By using a hub-and-spoke model, we’re creating efficiencies that we could not otherwise achieve, including reaching patients, providers, and other stakeholders quickly,” Wegrzyn said. “With a nod to the history of DARPA’s original ARPANET that eventually became the internet, we are establishing the foundation for an ambitious 50 state network to support health innovation across the entire Nation.”

The three hubs of ARPANET-H will lead specific focus areas, including streamlining customer experiences, catalyzing investors, and developing stakeholder and operations efforts.

  • The Customer Experience hub will focus on developing health solutions that will be accessible, needed, and readily adopted. It will take a proactive approach to diversify clinical trials, reach representative patient populations, and more leading to better and more equitable health outcomes for all. This hub’s physical location will be located in Dallas, Texas.
  • The Investor Catalyst hub will focus on speeding the transition of innovative ideas into practical, accessible solutions that deliver for Americans by engaging with researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors. This hub’s physical location will be located in Cambridge, Mass., in the greater Boston area.
  • The Stakeholder and Operations hub will be adjacent to many intergovernmental partners and stakeholders. Following a competitive review, ARPA-H will select the final site located in the National Capital Region, using federal leasing and acquisition procedures. The announcement is anticipated later in 2023.

Concluding a competitive process, ARPA-H has selected two Consortium Management Firms as awardees to operate the Customer Experience and Investor Catalyst hubs. Advanced Technology International will manage the Customer Experience hub. VentureWell will manage the Investor Catalyst hub. ARPA-H will operate the Stakeholder and Operations hub directly. The period of performance for each hub is five years, consisting of a one-year base and four one-year options.

At launch, initial spokes* reflect a broad range of expertise, community voices, and areas of the country. The spoke network will be dynamic, representing all 50 states, many territories, and tribal nations and the network will continue to evolve to meet the needs of ARPANET-H. Each spoke will provide a unique capability complementary to its associated hub, and each hub will recruit and work collaboratively with its spokes to maximize their effectiveness. For example, a spoke could be a rural hospital or an urban community health center, helping ensure that advances made are accessible and affordable to everyone.

Interested organizations across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors with relevant capabilities can apply to be a spoke. More information about ARPANET-H and its hubs and spokes can be found on the ARPA-H website. Additional spokes will be announced on an ongoing basis.

*Some of the initial ARPANET-H spokes include:

  • Southern Research (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Mountain Pacific (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • National Resilience, Inc. (San Diego, California)
  • UCHealth CARE Innovation Center (Aurora, Colorado)
  • Orlando Health (Orlando, Florida)
  • Mayo Clinic Platform (Rochester, Minnesota)
  • Cherokee Nation Health Service (Tahlequah, Oklahoma)
  • University City Science Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Access to Advanced Health Institute (Seattle, Washington)
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)