On April 14, Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center addressed a full ballroom at the Government Affairs Executive Speaker luncheon.
Dr. Windham-Bannister reported that since the inception of the Center more than $350 million in private and NIH funding has been leveraged by $42.5 million in public investment. The Center is funded over the next ten years through a $1 billion bond bill signed by Governor Patrick last year.
Dr. Windham-Bannister discussed four priorities of the Center: supporting innovation and discovery; workforce development; supporting academic institutions; and bringing the life sciences industry together to identify and address unmet needs. To address the first priority, the Center provides funding to assist companies that have developed promising treatments.
The Center addresses workforce issues by working with sponsor companies to provide stipends for positions. They also support Massachusetts academic institutions in order to keep and attract top-flight researchers and to support research and investigation. Partnerships are established with the life science industry, its advisory committee and through outreach to identify and address unmet needs. Center funding supports infrastructure improvements that allow for development of life science facilities and provide funds to leverage public-private investment deals. Life Science Center funded projects to date are expected to create 950 jobs.
During a lively question and answer session, Dr. Windham-Bannister was asked about the number and size of awards, turnaround time for receiving funding, and role the Center plays in marketing Massachusetts. She reported that grant awards range from $100,000 to $500,000, $3 to $5 million is expected to be awarded in the current round and the review process is relatively quick. She described the Center’s work to market Massachusetts in-state, nationally and internationally in partnership with other state agencies and the life science industry.
CCC Board Member Ann Stanesa, Associate Director, Public Affairs Corporate Communications at event sponsor Genzyme introduced our speaker and was introduced by Board Member and GAC Chair Dennis Carlone from Carlone & Associates.
More information about the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center can be found online at www.masslifesciences.com.
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