The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a $2.5 billion federal biomedical agency research agency created in 2022, stands to benefit San Antonio’s $44.1 billion health care and biosciences sector, the city’s largest, and local economic development. It’s a new federal agency designed to change the way patients are treated in the US healthcare system and improve health outcomes for the diverse population of the country. ARPA-H has selected Texas as its home to the agency’s “Customer Experience Hub and Spoke Network” (CX-ARPA-H) to advance high-potential, high-impact biomedical and health research that cannot be readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity – and quickly. ARPA-H was launched to conduct research and development (R&D) that accelerates better health outcomes for all Americans.
The presence of this health agency hub in Texas should create new opportunities for San Antonio’s biomedical industry, by increasing our visibility and connections with the federal funding agency.
- San Antonio biomedical organizations will interact with potential funders and partners at hub events across the state – including at events we can expect to host in San Antonio.
- San Antonio is a critical location because of our accessible and broad research capabilities, collaborative culture, contract manufacturing and our diverse population, unique health challenges and highly collaborative healthcare and bioscience industry.
- The hub in Texas has the potential to exponentially improve the reputation of the region and San Antonio specifically as a health care and biosciences center, effectively bringing companies, investors and supporting resources together to drive collaboration and faster problem-solving to deliver transformational health solutions.
This effort should also benefit patients in our community. San Antonio is a critical location for the future of health science and will be the nucleus of the Immersive Experiences in Texas.
- San Antonio has a robust bioscience collaboration working effectively together in a region that is located with a diverse population which is afflicted with numerous diseases that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations.
How did this happen? Advocating for the ARPA-H Hub to be in Texas, was initially led by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) with a representative from each community, starting in October 2020. During the next several months, BioMedSA responded to various requests for information about the ecosystem and available properties that were “move-in ready” on Dec. 1, 2020. Some time after that date came and went, CPRIT held weekly calls that were eventually expanded to include all interested parties in the state. The BioMedSA Advocacy Committee actively supported the effort, chaired by Jeff Fair (San Antonio Chamber of Commerce) and Jennifer Potter (UT Health San Antonio), including: Darrel Johnston (SwRI), Jaclyn Shaw/Joann Browning (UTSA), Joanne Turner (Texas Biomed), Richey Wyatt (BioBridge Global), Mark Nijland (UIW), Bryant Rutledge (Higginbotham), Tara Psencik (Turn Medical), and Councilman Manny Pelaez (City of San Antonio). After ARPA-H issued a request for proposals, Dallas and San Antonio joined forces to secure the only experienced biomedical, federal consortium management firm to submit the proposal for Texas, and Austin and Houston were invited to join the Hub team. The strength of unification and alignment between Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio strongly contributed to the selection of the hub to be in Texas. BioMedSA led a team representing San Antonio to present capabilities to the agency including leaders from: UT Health Science Center San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), BioBridge Global, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), UTSA, the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma (STRAC), and the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases, which was critical to Texas being selected as a hub for this national initiative. The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce also assisted the effort through its membership connectivity and logistical support of the presentation day.