The following in an excerpt from a story that originally aired on WBUR:
Earlier this year, a group of public officials, scientists, business leaders and community advocates held a secret meeting in Cambridge.
Federal officials were in town, and this group of local leaders was on a mission. They had just a few hours to convince the feds to choose Massachusetts as a hub for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H — a new federal initiative to invest in solving big and complex health problems.
The pitch they crafted included the state’s track record for medical innovation in everything from anesthesia and surgery to COVID vaccines. It was delivered directly by Gov. Maura Healey, researchers, investors and others.
Last week, we learned this aggressive strategy paid off. Massachusetts — and specifically, Cambridge’s Kendall Square — will become one of three hubs for ARPA-H.
“It really is validation,” said Ed Coppinger, head of government affairs at MassBio, “that Massachusetts is the epicenter of bio in the country, if not the world.”