Bits to Bytes

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 July 31 to Nov. 17, 2023 at 5 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, 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.


Sample Application

Post-award Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions

R.E.D.: Research Equipment Database

D.A.T.A. (Databases, Algorithms, Tools, and Analyses) Repository

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.

Over the past five years, the MLSC has awarded $22.2 million in capital funding. Approximately, $750,000 in funding per project has gone to 30 data-driven, cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, drug discovery and clinical trial design that develop capital assets, data resources, and novel algorithms to address a myriad of health issues. Additionally, these projects train the next generation of post-doctoral data scientists. The non-profit and industry partners on these projects have contributed more than $42.1 million in funds.

Learn more about our 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 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: