By Diane Rucker (UEL)
Kate Evinger (gener8tor) and I joined BARDA Industry Days last week in Washington, DC. In September, University Enterprise Labs (UEL) and gener8tor announced a partnership to support startups in health security, funded by a federal grant.
(The federal government loves acronyms. I’ll include translations in the article.)
But first, some fun stuff:
- Silver is an antimicrobial substance – it can kill bacteria.
- Last year’s flu vaccine was only 29% effective, because a second strain developed in early 2019.
- Ferrets can catch the flu, and have the most similar response to humans – because they can sneeze.
- Ebola virus can be transmitted by fruit bats.
- The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) contains $7 billion worth of stored assets, including sterile gloves and medical supplies – and in total is the size of six large WalMart stores.
BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) is tasked with everything from solving sepsis to managing the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). BARDA forms public-private partnerships to address 21st century health security threats – from influenza to regional disasters, from public health outbreaks to medical emergencies. BARDA Industry Days connect government agencies, industry partners, academics, and entrepreneurs with the problems that need to be solved.
So what does this mean for Minnesota?
Minnesota is a Region of Interest for BARDA – the innovative work that we do on medical devices, healthcare, biotech, and analytics can lead to advances in health security.
There are many entry points to working with government agencies – BARDA and the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) are a good way to navigate these. Through our partnership with BARDA, UEL and gener8tor can help. Some examples are:
- TechWatch – a chance to introduce your new product or idea to a team at BARDA who can evaluate it against areas of interest
- BAA, or Broad Agency Announcements – a way to find out the key areas of interest for BARDA. Some examples include Emerging Disease Diagnostics and Medical Countermeasures
- RFI, or Requests for Information – we’ll get early notification when BARDA or the Department of Health and Human Services needs information on a topic
- Federal grants – we will get information to share with our networks on grants to support work on promising new technologies for healthcare and health security
- Identifying new innovations – part of our charter is to connect BARDA and HHS (Health and Human Services) with the innovative work that’s happening here in Minnesota