FIRST FLIGHT HELPS BARDA TRANSFORM HEALTH SECURITY

DRIVe takes a new approach to tackle the biggest national health security threats – developing innovative technologies and practices for transformative solutions. First Flight helps you connect with BARDA to apply for the funding that can help keep us safe.

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) selected First Flight Venture Center as one of eight accelerators in the country tasked with finding solutions to protect Americans from 21st-century health security threats, including Sepsis, and early notification of infectious diseases. 

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This  DRIVe (Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures) initiative is part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). DRIVe’s mission is transforming Health Security by accelerating the research, development, and availability of transformative countermeasures to protect Americans from natural and intentional health security threats.

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First Flight’s role as a BARDA DRIVe Health Security Accelerator

First Flight is connecting companies, universities and other important members of the North Carolina health security ecosystem to drive innovation in lifesaving medical technologies and solve challenging problems spanning modern health security threats and daily medical care.

Emil Runge, First Flight DRIVe Program Manager; Marie Wax, member of the DRIVe Sepsis Area of Interest team; Donna Boston, Project Lead with DRIVe; and Andy Schwab, President of First Flight, gather during a First Flight/ DRIVe quarterly meeting.

Emil Runge, First Flight DRIVe Program Manager; Marie Wax, member of the DRIVe Sepsis Area of Interest team; Donna Boston, Project Lead with DRIVe; and Andy Schwab, President of First Flight, gather during a First Flight/ DRIVe quarterly meeting.

First Flight is collaborating with DRIVe to identify the most innovative solutions for BARDA funding. The First Flight and DRIVe teams are in regular communication and meet quarterly at our RTP offices. Our goals are complimentary: to help organizations better position themselves to go after DRIVe funding and to improve the fundable pipeline for DRIVe.

As one of the eight DRIVe accelerators, First Flight has leveraged our extensive network and partnerships to highlight BARDA DRIVe funding opportunities throughout the Southeast with 100+ new company interactions and 500+ stakeholder interactions. Learn more about our first year.


Should you be applying for DRIVe funding?

Current DRIVe impact areas are (1) Solving Sepsis, (2) Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat (ENACT) infectious diseases, and (3) Other Areas, an open category. First Flight can help you determine if your company is a fit for DRIVe funding and provide tips on navigating the funding process.

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what do I need to know about DRIVe fundinG?

BARDA will fund projects through traditional funding like grants, and through a nonprofit venture capital partner that joins with other venture capitalists in funding development of the solution.

Please note that DRIVe expects a proposed 30% cost share in your application (see Cost Sharing – Key Takeaways below). Additionally, the first five award amounts have a large range (approx. $62k, $200k, $550k, and two at $749k) so do not assume awarded funding will be $749k.

 

HOW TO apply for DRIVe fundinG

DRIVe has a streamlined application, selection and award process tool, the Easy Broad Agency Announcement (EZ-BAA).

Before submitting your application, you should review the Proposal Resources section below and request an Area of Interest call with the DRIVe Team. (Contact Emil Runge on how to do this.)

Apply here: for the EZ-BAA funding opportunities.

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Proposal Resources

Project Description Approach Suggestions

You have 12,500 characters (roughly 2,000-2,500 words) to make a compelling case for your idea. The majority of awarded DRIVe funding is likely going to be a contract, not a grant. Do not use the same approach as an SBIR/STTR application. Present your proposal as an investment pitch.

Consider answering the types of questions below:

•       What is your value proposition?

•       What is your approach?

•       What solutions are you trying to solve?

•       How are you different than the current state of the art solution?

•       Why does your technology matter?

•       What are the clear paths/deliverables for a disruptive solution?

•       What are your measurables/milestones?

 

Alternatively, you might consider using DARPA’s "Heilmeier Catechism" as an approach, which expects you to answer the following questions:

•       What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.

•       How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?

•       What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?

•       Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make?

•       What are the risks?

•       How much will it cost?

•       How long will it take?

•       What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success?

 

Cost Sharing – Key Takeaways ABOUT DRIVe Contracting

1) Cash or In-Kind cost sharing are both acceptable.

2) Examples of In-Kind cost-sharing:

  • Fringe Benefits

  • Overhead

  • Travel

  • G&A

  • F&A (applies to universities)

  • Direct Labor (pro-bono hours)

  • Consultants (pro-bono hours)

  • Equipment & Materials

  • Subcontractors

Note:  These cost elements may be partially shared, fully shared, or a combination of both. A cost share does not have to apply to a single cost element.

3) The proposed cost-share may be funded, or provided, by a third party.

  • This includes federal funding; however the funding may only be applied to the proposed work/project.

4) Any resulting contract will state the Total Project Value (Government share vs. Offeror share). 

How the Offeror funds, or provides, its share is strictly on the onus of the Offeror.  The Government is concerned with the work being completed and the deliverables being received in a timely, successful manner.

Note from First Flight: Cost Share in a support letter can be contingent upon a DRIVe award.


To learn more

Please contact Emil Runge if you are interested in learning more about First Flight’s DRIVe Health Security Accelerator. 

Sign up for the BARDA DRIVe newsletter. 


 
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Thank you! First Flight’s DRIVe Health Security Accelerator is funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).