January 8, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Leadership Transition at Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

Travis McCready stepping down from role after more than four years as president and CEO of Life Sciences Center; Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Timothy J. McGourthy appointed acting president and CEO

Waltham — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a leadership transition at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). Travis McCready, after more than four years of successful leadership of the quasi-public agency, is stepping down from his role as president and chief executive officer of the MLSC, effective as of January 8, 2020. Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Timothy J. McGourthy will assume the role of Acting President and CEO of the MLSC.

“I am grateful for the leadership and partnership Travis brought to the Center and the life sciences sector more broadly,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “In recent years, the Commonwealth has further solidified its national and global leadership position in life sciences research and development, innovation, and job creation, all while broadening the industry’s geographic footprint across Massachusetts.”

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September 9, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announce $6.7 million in grant awards to data-driven life sciences capital projects

Nine projects receive funding for cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, and drug discovery/clinical trials

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced $6.7 million in capital funding to nine data-driven, cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, drug discovery and clinical trial design. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement during remarks at MassBio’s Digital Health Impact Forum in Boston.

The MLSC is funding approximately $750,000 per project, for a total of $6.7 million. Moreover, non-profit and industry partners on these projects have committed more than $13 million in matching funds. The funding was provided through one of MLSC’s newest capital programs, Bits to Bytes, which is designed to provide grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting the generation and analysis of large datasets to answer pressing life science questions, and to attract and train data scientists in the Commonwealth.

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September 3, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Awards Funding to Support Early-Stage Growth Across Major Sectors

MLSC’s Milestone Achievement Program awards more than $1.9 million to 10 companies representing all major life sciences sectors

WALTHAM— Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced more than $1.9 million in funding to support 10 early-stage life sciences companies in Massachusetts. The funding is through the MLSC’s Milestone Achievement Program (MAP), which addresses the needs of early-stage life sciences companies by providing grant funding to execute critical, value-creating technical milestones. The 10 awardees are located across six Massachusetts communities with every major life sciences sector represented among the companies.

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June 20, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards for Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs

Five women-led, early-stage life sciences companies selected to receive non-dilutive capital and access to executive coaching network

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready, and MLSC Vice President
for Industry Programs & Relations Jennifer Griffin with this year’s MassNextGen winners.


CAMBRIDGE – June 19, 2019 – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the 2019 winners for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a competitive program to support women entrepreneurs in early-stage life sciences companies. All five companies will receive $87,500 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, $437,500 will be distributed to awardee companies this year.

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May 10, 2019

Project Onramp Meets Its Goal of Placing 50 Mass. Students from Low-Income Backgrounds into Summer Internships at Local Biotech Companies

Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Embraces New Model That Opens Doors to Careers in Life Sciences

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Project Onramp today announced they have placed more than 50 students in well-paid internships with top companies for summer 2019 through its first-in-the-nation Project Onramp program. The program will give the students – many of them the first in their families to attend college – hands-on experience and a valuable start towards a career in biotechnology.

“Project Onramp has created a new model for extending opportunities in the thriving biotech industry for high-achieving students who don’t have the personal or family connections that often play a big part in awarding internships,” said David Lucchino, chairman of MassBio and CEO and co-founder of Frequency Therapeutics. “The enthusiastic response from leading life sciences companies in Massachusetts has been overwhelming.”  Read more…

February 28, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards $25,000 grant to National Society of Black Engineers Boston

Funding to support organization’s ongoing efforts in youth, collegiate, and professional development programming

WALTHAM— Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced $25,000 in funding for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Boston Professionals. The funding will support NSBE Boston’s pre-collegiate, collegiate, and professional development initiatives. The NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

“Our ecosystem will only be as strong as our commitment to increase the diversity of engineers, scientists, educators and others who contribute to and benefit from the life sciences sector,” said MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready. “No one entity is responsible for the healthy state of the life sciences or any sector within our innovation economy.  I applaud the work of NSBE for their dedication to our collective commitment to creating opportunities at every level of educational and career development for the next generation of black engineers and STEM professionals.”

The National Society of Black Engineers has a bold vision of encouraging students to pursue a career in engineering, with an ultimate goal of increasing the annual number of black engineering bachelor’s degree recipients to 10,000 by 2025. With this worthy mission in mind, NSBE Boston has shaped its programming to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through professional advancement, youth, pre-college, and collegiate initiatives, and cultural and community-focused initiatives.

“All black students should be able to envision themselves as engineers or scientists,” said Ladi Olaoye of NSBE Boston. “Moreover, there is a national imperative for more black engineers to continue our country’s progress in STEM fields. We are grateful for the funding the MLSC is providing to spark and sustain interest in engineering and technology and provide experiences for students and professionals. This will open new doors and opportunities in academic achievement, leadership, and collaboration.”

More than 160 professional members are currently participating in NSBE Boston programming, which includes monthly career networking and professional development opportunities. NSBE Boston programming through STEM outreach events and initiatives, including participation in NSBE Jr. Chapters, have impacted more than 250 students in grades 3-12. At the college level, NSBE Boston actively supports 15 student chapters all over New England. This translates into 500-plus college student members enrolled in some form of STEM programming.

NSBE Boston, founded in 1988 as the “NSBE New England Alumni Extension”, recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary with the inaugural Boston STEM Benefit, to honor the accomplishments of black innovators and change-makers in the Boston area and to recognize the impact of NSBE Boston on more than 2000 local students and professionals over the last 30 years. Visit NSBE Boston to find out more information.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an economic development investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts, home to the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world.  Through public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, research & development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics, and digital health.  Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed over $700 million in Massachusetts, through a combination of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives, and workforce programs.  These investments have created thousands of jobs, and propelled the development of new therapies, devices, and scientific advancements that are improving patient health and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.


December 3, 2018

STAT+: Almost No venture capital funding goes to women. Can a pitchfest bring parity to biotech?

By Kate Sheridan 11/29/18

In many ways, the pitch night in Kendall Square on Wednesday was business as usual. Founders presented their young biopharma and medical device companies to investors, promising they could someday take away people’s pain, capture markets — even save lives. Read more…

October 24, 2018

MassLive: HCC’s readies 21st century workforce with $4.55M Center for Life Sciences

October 22, 2018

Boston Globe OpEd: We need to train more women and minority students for careers in STEM


Despite an abundance of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math, just 1 in 6 high school seniors nationwide is interested in studying STEM in college. For Massachusetts — which has the most technology jobs per capita in the country — this creates both economic and societal challenges. Read more…

September 26, 2018

Ground Broken For Berkshire Innovation Center

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shawna Axenroth and her daughter go hiking in the scenic Berkshire Hills and talk about the environment. They run science experiments in their kitchen. And they are both looking to pursue scientific careers.

Axenroth is at Berkshire Community College and her daughter is just starting the first year of high school. They both want to live and work fruitful careers in the science field in their hometown.

But the way it has been going in the region, there hasn’t been much reason to be optimistic about that prospect. The population has been declining, particularly with the younger generation, and educational attainment and incomes have been trailing. The general feeling for years has been that one has to leave the area to find a successful career.

But Axenroth now has a little bit of hope. On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker headlined the groundbreaking of the Berkshire Innovation Center — a $13.7 million project eyed to be the key connection between science education and science jobs in the area. It’s considered an important piece of growing the area’s life sciences and advanced manufacturing fields.

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September 26, 2018

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Berkshires Life Sciences Innovation Hub

PITTSFIELD, MA – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined state and local officials to break ground on the $13.7 million Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC), which will catalyze and accelerate innovation and growth of new and existing companies that will spur economic growth and job creation in Western Massachusetts.

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September 26, 2018

MA Governor Charlie Baker Attends Berkshire Innovation Center Groundbreaking

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stopped by Pittsfield Tuesday for the groundbreaking of a long-awaited project.

After a decade of planning, fundraising, and networking, the Berkshire Innovation Center broke ground at the William Stanley Business Park on the former campus of General Electric in the heart of Pittsfield. The Republican described the center as a think tank, accelerator, incubator, place where smart people go to trade big ideas with people who have been there and done that and find investors and other sponsors to do really great things.” Making a rare visit to the Berkshires, Baker was joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and a host of local community leaders. Plans are for the almost $14 million to open in late 2019.

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September 26, 2018

State, county dig in, break ground for Berkshire Innovation Center

PITTSFIELD  Another chapter in the Berkshire Innovation Center’s long history was completed Tuesday when local and state officials gathered at the William Stanley Business Park to officially break ground for the $13.8 million workforce development center’s construction.
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August 21, 2018

Collecting data while collecting a paycheck

LOWELL — On a stifling August day, 18-year-old Sophia Manukian finds refuge from the heat in a UMass Lowell chemistry lab.

She’s there to finish up some problems on her laptop: statistical analysis of the speed at which a protein refolds, she says. But this isn’t a chemistry class; Manukian is conducting research on a muscle protein called Titin under the direction of associate chemistry Professor Matthew Gage, and she’s getting paid for it. Continue reading “Collecting data while collecting a paycheck” »

August 9, 2018

Lever Secures New State & Private Sector Funding

Challenge Programs Will Award $150,000 to Manufacturing and Health Startups

North Adams, Mass. — During an event today at Greylock WORKS, Berkshire County startup incubator Lever, Inc. announced that it secured $450,000 in new funding and launched two new challenge programs which aim to boost entrepreneurs and innovative startups in the region. The new programs will award a total of $150,000 in seed grants for manufacturing and health startups in the Berkshire region over the next three years, awarding six $25,000 grants to startups that participate in Lever’s new Challenge programs. The aim of these programs will be to foster regional entrepreneurship, attract entrepreneurs from outside the region to start companies in Berkshire County, and expand Lever’s impact as it builds an entrepreneurial ecosystem to foster economic and job growth throughout the Berkshires.

Business and community leaders from across the Berkshires were joined at the announcement by Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech), North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, State Senator Adam Hinds, and State Representative John Barrett.

The new funding for Lever will come from a mix of state, private, and non-profit sources from both inside and outside Berkshire County. McCready and Larkin announced that the MLSC and MassTech have awarded Lever two grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that will total up to $300,000 over three years, including up to $225,000 from the MLSC ($75,000/year) and $75,000 from MassTech ($25,000/year).

MassTech’s funding is matched by both Berkshire Bank and Williams College, following MassTech’s model for corporate and academic co-funding. The Commonwealth’s support for Lever will help build on the MLSC’s $12 million investment in the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield, as the Lever Challenges will help spur the pipeline of startups to the Center.

“Our innovation economy leads the nation, and programs that spur entrepreneurial ventures are essential to our continued economic growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “The Baker-Polito Administration has made substantial investments in the Berkshires, and across the Commonwealth, to ensure Massachusetts continues to be the top place to start and grow a business.”

“We’re pleased to support these new initiatives to embolden entrepreneurship and innovation in the areas of manufacturing and health,” said MLSC President & CEO Travis McCready. “This opportunity exemplifies two pillars of our strong ecosystem: supporting the growth and development of the life sciences throughout Massachusetts and leveraging strong public/private partnerships to grow the Massachusetts economy.”

“MassTech is excited to partner with these great local organizations to invest in Lever and to create new opportunities for innovative businesses to grow in this region,” stated MassTech’s Pat Larkin. “As a life-long resident of the Berkshires, I have seen the challenges faced by startups. By building more connections through events and startup challenges, Lever can help create a true community of entrepreneurs that will help these businesses to expand their offerings, hire more workers, and drive increased investment throughout the region.”

“This multi-institutional commitment signals broad support for Lever and its mission to lift the regional economy by fostering growth companies here in Berkshire County,” stated Jeffrey Thomas, Lever’s Executive Director.

Lever will begin work immediately to deploy this new funding. On January 24, 2019, Lever will award $25,000 in seed funding to the winner of the Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (BMIC). A panel of expert judges will decide which startup among four finalists presents the most scalable and investable manufacturing business model with applications in the life sciences. Lever is accepting applications for its first annual BMIC through October 7.

“We have a long experience with this challenge format, both on regional college campuses and with programs such as the North Adams Arts Enterprise Challenge,” said Brent Filson, Lever’s Director of Programs and Operations and lead organizer of the BMIC. “We’re confident that the BMIC will attract some of the brightest entrepreneurs to launch their innovative companies here.”

Organizations interested in sponsoring Lever’s efforts or participating in the Challenge can contact Brent Filson at Lever (bfilson@lever.org) or you can find more information about the BMIC online at: http://leverinc.org/bmic/


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