Milestone Achievement Program

Program Overview

The Milestone Achievement Program (MAP) was designed to address the needs of early-stage life sciences companies by providing grant funding to execute critical, value-creating technical milestones. This program aims to fill a gap within the existing funding environment to enable early-stage companies to attract additional follow on funding.

Impact on the Ecosystem

The MLSC recognizes that many innovative companies are a milestone away from reaching an inflection point to further the success of the technology and advance the company overall. 

In 2019, the agency awarded  more than $1.9 million in funding to 10 life sciences companies, located across six Massachusetts communities. 

Early-stage programming like MAP bridges the funding gaps associated with long life sciences R&D cycles. The Commonwealth’s support for early-stage activity helps ensure a diversity of entrepreneurs within the life sciences industry, while enabling new partnerships and collaborations, acquisitions, and continued talent recruitment.

Learn more about our 2019 Milestone Achievement Program awardees.

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If you have any questions regarding the application process, email: map@masslifesciences.com

Massachusetts Transition and Growth Program

Program Overview

The Massachusetts Transition and Growth Program (MassTAG) is a recruitment tool targeting life sciences companies considering their first presence in Massachusetts. This highly competitive program is designed to attract out-of-state, international, and newly formed companies that meet MLSC’s strategic objectives to become part of the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem.

Successful applicants will receive grant awards based on net new jobs created within the company’s first 12 months of Massachusetts operations, to be paid out retroactively in three annual installments.

Eligibility & Evaluation

This program is available to companies life sciences companies that meet the following criteria:

  • No current presence in MA
  • Commit to creating more than 10 and fewer than 49 jobs in the first 12 months of MA operations
  • Address critical needs in the MA life sciences ecosystem

Grants will be provided on a per-job basis in amounts comparable to the awards provided under the MLSC’s existing tax Incentive program and will be evenly dispersed retroactively over a three year period assuming the job commitments are met each year based on the company’s grant agreement.

Acceptance of awards under this program does not disqualify companies from applying to other applicable MLSC programs.

Resources

Interested companies, please fill out the MLSC Business Interest Form.

Sample Application

Impact on the Ecosystem

Critical objectives for this program are attracting out-of-state, international, and newly formed companies in key growth areas, including novel modalities, contract research, development, and manufacturing capabilities, job creation, and scientific advancement that will benefit patients and further growth of the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem.

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For more information regarding the program or application process, e-mail: masstag@masslifesciences.com

Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative

Program Overview

The Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen) is a five year, more than $2 million commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. With our sponsors Takeda, King Street Properties, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Mintz, Mission BioCapital, and LabCentral Ignite, we aim to support women entrepreneurs expanding their network, increased visibility, and direct investment into their ventures. The Commonwealth’s entrepreneurs and investors alike, benefit from a life sciences ecosystem with more diverse leadership. MassNextGen aims to move the Massachusetts ecosystem visibly in that direction.

This is a competitive program. Women-led early-stage life science companies will be awarded a year-long customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned Executive Coaches from the life sciences ecosystem to refine their business strategies and effectively raise capital.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor and join us in making a change in the life sciences ecosystem by supporting women-led life sciences companies.

The application period will begin March 28 and close May 18, 2022, at 5 p.m.

Eligibility & Evaluation

Each year, following a competitive program, women-led early-stage life science companies will receive a yearlong customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned Executive Coaches. Throughout the year, the winners will work to refine their business strategies build a toolkit to more effectively raise capital.

  • The applicant company (“Company”) must be located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • The Company must have the majority of its FTEs (full-time-equivalent employees, >35 hours per week) based in Massachusetts and must have a minimum of 1 FTE.
  • The Company must have a life sciences focus with core technology and/or service in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics or imaging, bioinformatics, digital health, agricultural biotechnology, chemical synthesis and/or technology, genomics, marine biology or technology, nanotechnology, drug delivery, proteomics, regenerative medicine, and/or veterinary science.
  • The Company must be led by a woman in the CEO or equivalent position (e.g., President).
  • The woman CEO or equivalent must be open to executive coaching including receiving critique and feedback and must commit to attending executive coaching sessions in MA throughout the year-long program.
  • The Company must be in compliance with all other Center agreements, if any.

Increasing the number of successful entrepreneurs is in the best interest of the entire life science industry, and as such, this initiative is a public-private partnership between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and our corporate sponsors Takeda, King Street Properties, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Mintz, Mission BioCapital, and LabCentral Ignite.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor and join us in making a change in the life sciences ecosystem by supporting women-led life sciences companies.  

The application period will begin March 28 and close May 18, 2022, at 5 p.m.

Resources

Solicitation

Executive Coaching Network

Past Awardees

Become a Sponsor

Program Handout

Impact on the Ecosystem

The goal of MassNextGen is to shift the paradigm to build a diverse ecosystem with equal representation. Underrepresentation of women in the industry has real consequences not only for individual careers but also for new innovative therapeutics for patients.

According to Babson College’s The Diana Project report “Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital,” only 15 percent of the companies receiving venture capital investment had a woman on the executive team from 2011-2013. Only 3 percent of total venture capital dollars in the U.S. went to companies with a female CEO, and it is hardest for female executives to attain seed-stage funding.           

In its inaugural year in 2018, five companies received access to a network of executive coaches for a year. Two awardees received $62,500 in funding in addition to coaching. In November 2018, the MLSC also organized an inaugural A Pitch Of Their Own event featuring female CEOs of 10 early-stage companies. The entrepreneurs presented five-minute pitches to an audience of investors and members of the venture capital community, highlighting the groundbreaking innovations championed by women in Massachusetts.

In its second year, the MassNextGen initiative awarded five companies with $87,500 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, awardee companies received $437,500.

In the third year, six companies were awarded $85,416 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, awardee companies received $512,500.

In the fourth year, five companies were awarded $88,500 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, awardee companies received $442,500.

Learn more about our awardees, including their pioneering work.

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If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail MassNextGen@masslifesciences.com.

Internship Challenge

Program Overview

Investing in the next generation of life science professionals is at the core of how we fulfill our mission. The Internship Challenge enhances the talent pipeline for the Massachusetts life sciences industry by creating hundreds of new internship opportunities each year for college students and recent graduates interested in life sciences careers. The workforce development program connects employers with prospective interns through an online platform and enables eligible companies to pay their interns for up to twelve weeks by subsidizing intern wages.

Internships can be part or full time and can take place throughout the 12-month program year, which runs from May 1 through April 30 of the following year. The MLSC will reimburse eligible companies for pay rates of up to $17 per hour for a total reimbursement of up to $8,160 per intern.

Impact on the Ecosystem

The Internship Challenge embodies our belief in the power of experiential learning to cultivate a workforce pipeline.  As the longest-running program at the MLSC, the Internship Challenge has expanded the pool of prospective employees who have practical experience, increased opportunities for mentoring, and enabled more students from across the Commonwealth to explore careers in the life sciences industry.  This initiative has reached every region of our state to the benefit of the diverse and talented young people. 

The program creates new internship opportunities for college students and recent graduates by enabling small companies, of 100 employees or less, to hire paid interns. Since the program’s inception in 2009, the MLSC has funded more than 5,000 internships with more than 920 companies for students from 250 different academic institutions. Nearly 40 percent of interns that completed college were offered employment directly following their internship. The Internship Challenge has grown to be the largest state-sponsored STEM internship program in the U.S. and serves as a model for similar programs across the country.

As part of our commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the life sciences workforce, MLSC also partners with Project Onramp and the UNCF Ernest E. Just Initiative to support internship opportunities for underrepresented students.

Eligibility Requirements

Resources

Intern Applicant Account Registration

New Company Account Registration

Students and companies already registered can log in here to access the application.

FAQs for Interns

FAQs for Host Companies

Program Handout

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If you have further questions regarding the application process, please email: internship@masslifesciences.com.

High School Apprenticeship Challenge

Program Overview

The High School Apprenticeship Challenge facilitates and funds paid internships for underrepresented and low income high school students throughout Massachusetts. The program creates over 100 new internship opportunities each year by subsidizing intern wages for small life sciences companies and academic researchers to enable them to hire paid interns. The program also offers a pre-internship laboratory training program for select school districts that provides rigorous biotechnology/biomedical and professional skills development.

The MLSC reimburses eligible host organizations up to $3,600 per intern, based on $15.00 per hour for six weeks of full-time work. Internships can be part-time or full-time and must take place between May 2022 and April 2023.

Impact on the Ecosystem

Since the program first launched in 2016, the MLSC has supported more than 470 internships at more than 110 life sciences companies and research institutions. Interns have represented 138 Massachusetts high schools and 325 students have participated in MLSC-sponsored lab training programs designed to better prepare them for internships. The program has been offered in Brockton, New Bedford, Worcester, and Cambridge (serving Boston, Cambridge, and Everett students) in partnership with the LEAH Knox Scholars Program.

The program seeks to create paid work-based learning opportunities for underrepresented youth, supplement life science education with rigorous OST training, foster relationships between economically disadvantaged schools and life sciences employers, develop students’ professional workplace skills, increase awareness of life sciences careers, and build a diverse STEM workforce pipeline.

Eligibility Requirements

Resources

Program Handout

Applicants are required to create an account prior to accessing the application. If you already have an account, please log in to begin the application.

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If you have questions regarding the application process, please email: internship@masslifesciences.com.

Data Science Internship Program

Program Overview

The Data Science Internship Program focuses on increasing the availability of data science talent in the life sciences. The program creates new internship opportunities for qualified candidates, including those at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels, by enabling research institutions and companies to hire paid interns for up to six months. The program connects employers with prospective interns through an online platform and reimburses eligible companies (100 or fewer employees in Massachusetts; no more than 250 globally) and research institutions for intern wages. Companies with greater than 100 FTEs in Massachusetts are also encouraged to use the portal to search for unsubsidized interns.

The program is intended to provide opportunities that introduce interns to applications of advanced data analytics and data science to the life sciences. Prospective interns must demonstrate through their applications that they are proficient in advanced analytics skills and technologies based on their work experience and/or academic training. Internships can be part or full time and can take place for companies any time during the 12-month program year, which runs from May 1 through April 30 of the following year. For research institutions, there is no specific program year. Candidates looking for an internship will submit an online application, which includes their resume and identifies relevant skills. There is no application deadline since internship placements are rolling. Approved employers will review applications and contact candidates directly if they are interested in hiring them for an internship.

Through this program, the MLSC also seeks to increase access to internships for those traditionally underrepresented in the data science field, particularly those identifying as women, Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx.

Impact on the Ecosystem

The Data Science Internship Program is designed to respond to the rapidly increasing demand for data science talent by expanding the pool of prospective employees who have practical experience and enabling individuals with data science skills to explore life sciences careers in Massachusetts.

The program also contributes to development of a robust and diverse life sciences workforce by providing new opportunities for students pursuing data science and related majors, engaging research institutions and industry in recruiting from a global talent pool, and increasing awareness of career pathways in life sciences to compete for talent with the tech industry. Since the program launched in 2020, more than 60 companies and research institutions hosted nearly 100 interns from 30 different colleges and universities.

Eligibility Requirements

Resources/Application

Companies and prospective interns must first create an account in our application portal in order to submit an application:
Intern Registration
Company Registration

If you already have an account, please log in here to access the application.

Research Institutions are asked to email DataScience@masslifesciences.com to register.

Program Handout

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If you have questions regarding the application process, please email: internship@masslifesciences.com.

Building Breakthroughs

Program Overview

The Building Breakthroughs Capital Call was designed to provide grants for capital projects that support biomanufacturing innovation, including improvements to upstream/downstream processing, production of cell and gene therapies, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecules, quality and safety, and storage/stability, in the Commonwealth.

Up to $10 million capital dollars was available for the previous program round, with approximately $750,000 awarded per project to support work and equipment at not-for-profit partners. Project teams comprised not-for-profit applicants collaborating with at least one for-profit Massachusetts life science company to solve some of the most pressing biomanufacturing problems.

Impact on the Ecosystem

Massachusetts recognizes that as new innovative therapeutic modalities are being developed, including cell and gene therapies, a biomanufacturing bottleneck exists keeping therapies from patients. Further, currently marketed products can benefit from biomanufacturing innovation to reduce costs and avoid drug shortages. Massachusetts,  home to hundreds of companies pioneering innovative therapies and treatments, is well poised to lead in developing these critical biomanufacturing innovations.

In May 2019, the MLSC announced $2.82 million in funding through the Building Breakthroughs capital program. The capital program funded four projects led respectively by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), UMass Lowell, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Each institution received funding to collaborate with industry stakeholders to take a cross-disciplinary approach to improve the biomanufacturing process for much-needed drugs, therapies, and other treatment pathways for patients around the world.

Since 2016, the MLSC has committed more than $21 million to leverage continued investment to accelerate biomanufacturing innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading manufacturing workforce.

Learn more about our 2019 Building Breakthrough awardees, including the principal investigator, industry partners, and project titles.

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If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail: BuildingBreakthroughs@Masslifesciences.com

Bits to Bytes

Program Overview

The MLSC launched Bits to Bytes to provide grants for scientific projects that generate and analyze large datasets to answer pressing life science questions, and to attract and train data scientists in the Commonwealth.

As the leading life sciences ecosystem, Massachusetts recognizes that the role of data sciences in life science innovation has evolved rapidly and has the potential to catalyze that innovation at unprecedented rates. Investment in generating well-annotated datasets and training data scientists for life science research is required to sustain Massachusetts’s global leadership position in life science research and development.

The application period will run from August 15, 2022 – November 18, 2022 at 8 p.m. EST.

Eligibility & Evaluation

The MLSC is investing up to $5 million capital dollars to support work and equipment at not-for-profit partners. Awards given out will be approximately $750,000 in funding to solve some of the most pressing life science questions using high throughput approaches generating large datasets.

Project teams are to be comprised of not-for-profit applicants collaborating with at least one for-profit Massachusetts life science company. All not-for-profit applicants must be a Massachusetts legal entity such as an academic/research institution, a hospital engaged in research, business incubator or accelerator, or other not-for-profit entity that would be eligible for capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For this solicitation, the MLSC is particularly interested in supporting applicants whose research will lead to significant healthcare advances using data-driven approaches and who will recruit and train data scientists in the life science field. While different areas of translational research have different time horizons, successful proposals will explain a clear path, with executable milestones, that leads to new discoveries in partnership with the company.

Please view the full list of eligibility requirements and evaluation process.

Resources

Post-award Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions

Sample Application

Impact on the Ecosystem

The goal of Bits to Bytes is to employ data analytics and/or machine learning techniques to develop a greater understanding of various medical conditions to develop optimal treatments to improve patient health. Additionally, the MLSC and its partners are committed to a collective goal of attracting, training, and retaining data scientists to the life sciences. Exposing data scientists to careers within the life sciences can encourage the application of their much needed skill sets to the industry and mission-driven work of the life sciences.

In June 2019, the program’s inaugural year, the MLSC awarded $6.7 million in capital funding. Approximately, $750,000 in funding per project went to nine data-driven, cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, drug discovery and clinical trial design. The non-profit and industry partners on these projects have committed more than $13 million in matching funds. In 2020, an additional $4.6 million in funding was awarded to 6 projects committed to developing capital assets, data resources, and novel algorithms to address a myriad of health issues. An additional 6 projects were awarded $4.4 million in MLSC funding in 2021 to continue to develop large datasets and train new postdoctoral data scientists.

Learn more about our 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Bits to Bytes awardees, including the principal investigator, industry partners, and the innovative projects.

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If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail: BitsToBytes@Masslifesciences.com