The Department of Health and Human Services wants to give more money to more accelerators to help deter critical national security health threats.
The Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures, or DRIVe, launched a partnership with eight accelerators across the country last year to find entrepreneurs and innovators to solve critical health challenges. Now, HHS wants to increase the number of accelerators it works with, opening applications to receive government funding to join the program, it said in a release.
Accelerators offer entrepreneurs guidance and technical support as they develop what HHS hopes will be solutions for national security health threats. The government dollars are distributed to accelerators, which in turn pass down the support to innovators.
DRIVe operates under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Its mission is to accelerate the development and availability of transformative technologies, often working with the private sector to find new solutions, according to its website.
“Innovation comes all across the country and our accelerator network is there to scout and foster promising solutions to improve our national health security, providing business expertise and laboratory space for startups and small businesses,” said Rick Bright, BARDA director. “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.”
HHS is seeking technology to detect illness earlier, solve diseases that stem from infections and “other disruptive technologies,” according to the release.