Mayor Scott Announces Baltimore’s Pursuit of ARPA-H, New National Institutes of Health Agency

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Jack French
(443) 248-3786

jack.french@baltimorecity.gov

BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, August 4, 2022) - Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that he has launched a coalition effort to attract the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to the City of Baltimore.

ARPA-H is a new $1 billion federal agency that will concentrate on health research. Its focus will accelerate biomedical and health research in ways that might be difficult to do through traditional research or research done by companies. The agency will support research that might not otherwise be done because of high risks, prohibitive costs, or extended time commitments, among other reasons.

"Baltimore has many wonderful assets that would prove invaluable to and supportive of ARPA-H, including world-class educational and healthcare facilities, excellent medical research institutions, and a diverse and talented workforce," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "In addition, the city’s life sciences, technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem make Baltimore an ideal location for ARPA-H. Attracting this institution will continue our city’s renaissance by bringing jobs, investment, and innovation to Baltimore."

Mayor Scott has charged the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) with leading the effort to attract ARPA-H, which will be a collaborative effort of the Mayor’s Office and private sector partners, including Greater Baltimore Committee, UpSurge Baltimore, and the Abell Foundation – and university partners, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and Morgan State University.

Baltimore has a legacy of health care innovation through its universities and their deep collaborations with federal science agencies and institutes. It is a compelling headquarters location for ARPA-H as more than 60 federal agencies and research labs are within 30 miles of the city. Johns Hopkins University is the largest recipient of federal research grants nationally. In addition, the city has two state-of-the-art biotechnology parks, Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins and UMB’s BioPark. Furthermore, Morgan State University recently announced that it was moving forward with the construction of a new $150 million science complex, as well as plans for a for-profit private medical school.

Additionally, the city is home to three of NIH’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) Institutes on its Bayview campus in East Baltimore: the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The campus houses state-of-the-art research laboratories, clinical space, and administrative areas for nearly 1,000 scientists and supporting staff in both clinical and basic research programs. The IRP is the internal research program of the National Institutes of Health, known for its synergistic approach to biomedical science.

"Our deep legacy and ongoing leadership in health care innovation, longstanding partnerships with federal agencies, combined with our affordable, strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic and easy access by rail, air, and highway, makes Baltimore an ideal place to locate ARPA-H and its employees," said Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of BDC. "As part of our work on the city’s comprehensive economic development strategy, Baltimore Together, we’ve identified ways to further promote and support life sciences in Baltimore and welcome this collaborative approach to bring ARPA-H to the city."

ARPA-H, a branch of NIH, is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was authorized by a bill enacted in March. It will be up to the agency’s first director to decide on its location in consultation with the secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Funding legislation for ARPA-H still needs to be passed by the U.S. Senate.

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