Open Capital Program

Updated 9/30/2019

Program Overview

The Open Capital Program is designed 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. Eligible applicants include academic organizations, research institutions, research hospitals, business incubators and other non-profit organizations. MLSC recognizes that investment in capital projects and infrastructure is required to create and sustain the attributes that make Massachusetts attractive to innovation clusters. This program is designed to help fund high potential economic development projects that promise to make a significant contribution to the state’s life sciences ecosystem.

Program to Date

To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $480 million to support capital projects across the state.  This includes projects that were designated for funding in the Life Sciences Initiative, and projects funded through the MLSC’s Capital Programs.

Program Eligibility

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.
  • Each award is anticipated to provide $2 million (or less) in funds to the eligible applicant.  The MLSC may consider requests greater than $2 million in the event of a very compelling and highly competitive application.  The MLSC expects to invest up to $10M through this Open Competitive Capital Program.
  • The MLSC envisions that recipients under the Program will receive a grant that leverages additional funds that have been identified and raised for the proposed project. 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.

Apply Now

The program is now closed.

Application and Review Process

Applications must be submitted online. MLSC staff will conduct an initial screen and then submit to experts for review. Applicants may be invited to present their proposals to address questions or provide clarification. Final recommendations will be brought to the Board of Directors for approval.

Sample Project Attributes:

  • Highlight the potential to enable scientific advances
  • Need for equipment is critical to not only the institution but also the MA ecosystem
  • Feasibility of accomplishing the proposed project is evidenced by the team’s capabilities
  • Advantageous benefit of continued usage beyond the project scope to the institution, its stakeholders, and others in MA


  • Allowable costs for MLSC funds: equipment, research supplies and reagents (no minimum dollar amount), purchase of hardware and software, generation of data via core facilities, purchase of analytical equipment. Non-fundable expenses include: direct labor, legal expenses, travel, paying off debt, paying board members, paying for operating costs such as rent and utilities, renting space for storage of memory or hard drives, monthly cloud storage fees, other monthly subscription fees, and activities funded by other funding sources.
  • Following execution of the grant agreement, funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis to the Awardees.
  • The number and amount of awards will be determined by the quality of the proposals.
  • The Center reserves the right to adjust the requested amount of funding for each proposal.


For more information about Post-award Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions, please check here. If you have further questions regarding the application process, please email the Industry team:

Connect With Us

Blog Facebook LinkedIn Twitter