The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) undertook a series of listening sessions to extensively engage a broad set of stakeholders on the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) throughout the month of July and into August. ARPA-H will benefit the health of all Americans by catalyzing health breakthroughs that cannot readily be accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. It will do so by supporting high-risk, high-reward science with the potential to catalyze disruptive progress across a multitude of disease areas – seeking solutions at levels from the molecular to the societal. Through the listening sessions, OSTP and NIH gathered feedback from patient advocates, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, professional societies, the academic research community, industry, and others on opportunities and barriers to accelerate biomedical and health research breakthroughs.

OSTP and NIH hosted a total of 15 listening sessions. 10 of the sessions were research area-focused, publicly open sessions that included remarks from OSTP and NIH leadership, including relevant NIH Institute and Center Directors, and statements from up to 10 stakeholder organizations per session. An open question and answer (Q&A) period followed, which permitted direct audience participation. The remaining five meetings were smaller, invitation-only sessions designed to enable robust dialogue and began with a short overview of ARPA-H (with brief Q&A), followed by breakout sessions to further identify the challenges and opportunities that ARPA-H may consider addressing.

Over 5,100 registered participants, including nearly 250 organizations, from across the country attended the 15 events, which provided a forum to share their views on the scientific areas ripe for transformation. Participants offered many specific ideas that ranged from developing novel imaging technologies to modernizing clinical trial approaches. Several areas, such as the need for better, more integrated data, the imperative to reduce or eliminate health inequities, and the potential for novel advances catalyzed by collaboration across scientific disciplines, were common themes echoed throughout the sessions.

OSTP and NIH will analyze the robust input received over the course of the listening sessions. These thoughtful contributions will help inform the collaborative development of potential areas of focus and priority to further crystalize the initial breath and scope of ARPA-H.

More on the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health: The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) was proposed as a component of the President’s fiscal year 2022 budget, with a requested funding level of $6.5 billion over three years, to revolutionize how we prevent, treat, or cure a range of diseases. For more information on ARPA-H, please click here

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