AUSTIN (KXAN) –  Texas is vying to secure one of three headquarter sites for the Advances Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a President Biden proposal that was enacted into law in March 2022. The initiative aims to support the development of high-impact biomedical and health breakthroughs. 

Three major Texas cities — Austin, Dallas and San Antonio — partnered with a consortium management firm to submit an application to consider Texas for one of the three ARPA-H sites. The ARPA-H, an entity within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced in mid-March it would establish three sites around the U.S. to support the program, according to an Austin Chamber of Commerce press release. 

The three hubs will have different focuses. The first hub, which will be located near Washington D.C., will be responsible for stakeholder engagement. The second one will drive user testing, adoption and access to ARPA-H projects, while the third will focus on investor relationships, per Austin Chamber of Commerce. 

The three Texas cities and the management firm have proposed Pegasus Park in Dallas as the Texas site for Hub No. 2, where ARPA-H staff will work to enhance clinical trials, reach representative patient populations and capture outcomes data for future research.

Biomedical stakeholders want the site in Texas to further increase the state’s status as a biomedical science and healthcare hub. In San Antonio, healthcare and bioscience is the largest economic sector, while the Austin region is ranked as a top emerging market for the life sciences with several biomedical and healthcare companies.

Austin is also home to home to the University of Texas at Austin, a Tier 1 Research University, with more than 50 research units dedicated to the life sciences.

“Dallas is home to top-tier universities, corporate partners and investors, and premier healthcare systems with one of the best academic medical centers in the country for commercializing new biomedical technologies and providing exceptional care to patients,” Tom Luce, CEO of Biotech Initiatives at Lyda Hill Philanthropies, added in a press release.

“The city’s ability to attract scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment funds is hard to beat,” Luce continued. “Paired with Dallas’ emergence as a key hub for biotech and life sciences in the country, and Pegasus Park’s ability to offer existing flexible space and a convenient location to the city’s medical district and two airports, including the second largest international airport in the world, Dallas and the North Texas region add significant value towards Texas as an ARPA-H site location.”

Per the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s release, having the ARPA-H site in the state will result in a significant benefit for Texas companies, institutions and residents. A decision on the hub’s location is expected by fall 2023.