Workforce Development Capital Grant Program

Program Overview

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) seeks to further the development and expansion of life sciences education and training programs offered by post-secondary academic institutions and non-profit organizations through capital investment in industry-aligned certificate and degree programs. The MLSC Workforce Development Capital Grant Program will award funding of up to $750,000 per institution for the purchase and installation of life sciences equipment, lab furniture, materials, supplies, and/or technology that will enable them to effectively prepare students for high-demand career opportunities in the life sciences.

Through this program, the MLSC is particularly seeking to seed, enhance and/or expand training programs that address critical skills and talent supply gaps facing the state’s life science industry. Such programs include those focused on biomanufacturing, data science, and regulatory affairs occupations, among others, and have at least one industry partnership. Furthermore, MLSC is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the life sciences workforce and will prioritize investment in programs that serve underrepresented populations.

The application period will run from early January 2022 through March 11, 2022 at 12 p.m.

Eligibility & Evaluation

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized not-for-profit college, university, or organization delivering post-secondary life sciences training.

Funding must be requested for equipment, supplies, materials, and/or technology to support training that prepares students with skills needed for life sciences careers. Programs must have a focus on skills training for high-demand occupations within the life sciences sector, including but not limited to biomanufacturing, regulatory affairs, data science, facilities management, quality control and quality assurance. The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.”

MLSC is interested in supporting applicants that will further its goal of developing a skilled workforce suitable for employment in the life sciences, particularly in high-demand occupations. Successful proposals will explain how the requested equipment and supplies will create learning opportunities that are aligned with the needs of the life sciences industry.

Please refer to the Solicitation posted below for more information.

Resources

Solicitation

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.

Impact on the Ecosystem

New state-of-the-art facilities outfitted with industry-standard equipment are now available in all regions of Massachusetts following a decade of strategic investment. MLSC previously awarded more than $167 million to 34 colleges and universities to support the construction, renovation, and/or outfitting of life sciences classrooms, labs, and training facilities. Over 60 grants have enabled higher education institutions to train students in first-rate laboratories and provide them with skillsets that meet the needs of their region’s life sciences employers.

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

Women’s Health Collaboration Program

Program Overview

The Women’s Health Collaboration Program is part of the MLSC’s Women’s Health Initiative. This program supports collaborative projects that aim to improve the discovery, technical innovation, and/or analysis of datasets to answer pressing life science questions around women’s health. It incentivizes translational projects that develop novel solutions to treat conditions that solely or disproportionately affect women or have a different presentation between genders.

Up to $5 million capital dollars are available for the current program round, with each award anticipated to be approximately $750,000 to support data generation and equipment at not-for-profit partners. 

The application period will run from Oct. 3, 2022 to Jan. 12, 2023 at 8 p.m. EST.

Eligibility & Evaluation

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, a business incubator or accelerator, or other not-for-profit entity eligible for capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare delivery would not be eligible for capital funding.

To evaluate applications, an external panel of scientists from academia and industry with expertise in women’s health will review applications in the following categories:

  • Qualifications of the Team
  • Use of funds and value to the Massachusetts ecosystem
  • Proposed plan, including the following: unmet need/market opportunity, data generation and sharing (if applicable), scientist training, and approach to solving a key question in women’s health

Top applicants will be asked to present their proposed project plan to our review panel.

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

Resources

Attend a virtual info session to learn more:
Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. – Register now

Post-award deliverables, confidentiality, and general conditions

Sample Application

Learn more about the Women’s Health Initiative

Impact on the Ecosystem

Massachusetts recognizes there has been a lack of development in novel solutions to treat conditions that solely or disproportionately affect women or have a different presentation between genders. This impacts not only patients, but also employers and the healthcare system. The consequences are profound, with women more likely to have adverse drug reactions than men, and the lack of effective therapies results in reduced quality of life. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center aims to support and incentivize translational project teams developing novel solutions in this area of need.

Learn more about the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Women’s Health 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: WomensHealth@Masslifesciences.com.

Research Infrastructure Program

Program Overview

The design of the Research Infrastructure program (formerly known as the Open or Competitive Capital Program) is to provide grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences research and development in the Commonwealth.

Up to $10 million in capital dollars is available to support capital projects ranging from $1.5 – $5 million across the state for not-for-profit partners. Applicants will have to demonstrate how the requested infrastructure will benefit the entire life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts.

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

Eligibility & Evaluation

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized “not-for-profit” 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. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare would not be eligible for capital funding.

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be requesting funding for life sciences “infrastructure” defined as: “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications” according to the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), chapter 23I, section 2.
  • The MLSC anticipates each award to provide $1.5 – $5 million in funds to the eligible applicant.  The MLSC expects to invest up to $10 million through this Research Infrastructure Program.
  • The MLSC envisions recipients receiving a grant under this program identify and raise additional funds for the proposed project that leverages the MLSC funding. Applicants that have succeeded in attracting significant additional funds will benefit during the review process.
  • Applicants will have to demonstrate how the requested infrastructure will benefit the entire life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts.

Submission of applications must be via online. The MLSC staff will conduct an initial screen and then submit to experts for review. Applicants may receive invitations to present their proposals to address questions or provide clarification. The MLSC will provide final recommendations to its Board of Directors for approval.

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

Resources

Attend an info session to learn more:
October 13, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. – Register now

Post-award deliverables, confidentiality, and general conditions

Sample Application – Incubators or Accelerators

Sample Application – Research Institutions or Academic Medical Centers

Impact on the Ecosystem

Massachusetts recognizes that investment in capital projects and infrastructure is required to create and sustain the attributes that make Massachusetts attractive to innovation clusters.  To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $504 million to support capital projects across the state.  This includes projects designated for funding in the Life Sciences Initiative, and projects funded through the MLSC’s capital programs.

Learn more about the 2021, and 2022 Research Infrastructure awardees.

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

Novel Therapeutics Delivery

Program Overview

The Novel Therapeutics Delivery program aims to foster the development of novel technologies and techniques for the delivery of existing or innovative therapies by working at the intersection of engineering, biology, chemistry, and medicine. Specifically, it strives to capitalize and incentivize translational projects to address complex challenges in “therapeutic” delivery – from biomanufacturing, to targeted delivery, to biomaterials and more.

Up to $5 million capital dollars are available for the current program round, with each award anticipated to be up to $750,000 to support work and equipment at not-for-profit partners.

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

Eligibility & Evaluation

Eligibility criteria include multiple factors, such as applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized “not-for-profit” 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. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare delivery would not be eligible for capital funding.

To evaluate an external panel of scientists from academia and industry with expertise in delivery/development of therapeutics and clinical care will review them based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications of the Team
  • Use of funds and value to the MA ecosystem
  • Proposed plan, unmet need/market opportunity, data generation and sharing (if applicable), scientist training, and approach to solving a key question.

Top applicants will be asked to present their proposed project plan to our review panel.

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

Resources

Attend an info session to learn more:
October 13, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. – Register now

Post-award deliverables, confidentiality, and general conditions

Sample Application

Impact on the Ecosystem

Innovative new therapies are dependent on advancements in drug delivery. Increased drug complexity, the rise of biopharmaceuticals, novel therapeutic technologies, bioavailability challenges, and the demand for the demonstration of strong drug performance are all driving unprecedented technology innovation; however, the availability of such therapies is not accelerating at the rate with which technology is advancing. Existing therapies can also benefit from improved delivery methods and devices, increasing patient compliance and improving overall health.

Learn more about the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Novel Therapeutics Delivery 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: DrugDelivery@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

Attend an info session to learn more:
October 13, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. – Register now

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.

Connect with us to Learn More

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