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: