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BARDA’s Health Security Accelerator

BARDA’s Health Security Accelerator

DRIVe is a transformative, business-friendly approach to identifying, capturing, nurturing and accelerating lifesaving innovation to solve tough health challenges that span health security and daily healthcare. DRIVe is named after the office that oversees it, the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures, part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At a time when synthetic biology and personalized medicine are not just conceivable but attainable, the time is uniquely now to solve some of the most daunting, far-reaching health security problems. Through DRIVe, individual innovators, startups and other businesses have a new pathway to bring ideas together, nurture them with experienced partners, and direct them to BARDA’s experts who have demonstrated success in partnering with private industry to take new ideas to regulatory approval.

DRIVe leverages the flexibilities provided under the 21st Century Cures Act to accelerate healthcare innovation allowing BARDA to partner with a nonprofit organization that can work with private investors to fund innovative technologies and products to solve systemic health security challenges. DRIVe also can invest in the projects using quick, streamlined funding methods.

First Flight Venture Center, a high-science, high-impact incubator located in Research Triangle Park, has been selected as one of eight accelerators in the country by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to drive innovation in lifesaving medical technologies to solve challenging problems spanning modern health security threats and daily medical care. 

First Flight will be working to help connect the Health Security Ecosystem locally and to help identify the most innovative solutions for BARDA. First Flight is working with companies, universities and other important members of the North Carolina health security ecosystem to help DRIVe transform innovation to protect Americans from 21st-century health security threats. BARDA is looking to fund projects – both through traditional funding like grants and through a nonprofit venture capital innovation partner that joins with other venture capitalists in funding development of the solution. We are trying to help local organizations better position themselves to go after funding.

DRIVe takes a new approach to tackle the biggest national health security threats—developing innovative technologies and practices for transformative solutions. Initial DRIVe impact areas include:

  1. Solving Sepsis
  2. Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat (ENACT) infectious diseases
  3. Innovative Products to radically transform Health Security

To accelerate innovations and improve availability of transformative products and technologies to protect Americans from natural and intentional health security threats by soliciting revolutionary technologies and innovations in health security, DRIVe is using an innovative funding tool: Easy Broad Agency Announcement (EZ-BAA). The EZ-BAA has a streamlined application, selection and award process with a funding opportunity of up to $749,000. You can apply today and expect a response within 30 days. 4 awards have been announced since August 1 for approximately $1.5 million.

For more information, please contact Emil Runge at To apply, please visit the DRIVe website at  

Sign up for the BARDA DRIVe newsletter at:

NC Defense Technology Transition (DEFTECH) Office

Denny Lewis,


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