Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Launches Small Business Matching Grant Program

January 29, 2010

$3 million available to match federal grant funding for early-stage life sciences companies


Waltham, Massachusetts -The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-public agency tasked with implementing the state's ten year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, today launched a new Small Business Matching Grant (SBMG) program that will match federal small business grant funding for early-stage life sciences companies in Massachusetts.  $3 million will be made available for the program for Fiscal Year 2010.  The Center will begin accepting on-line applications for the new program on Monday, February 1, 2010.  Applications will be submitted via the Center's web site at

The Small Business Matching Grant Program is targeted at commercialization-ready life sciences companies that have received Phase II or Post Phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) or small business technology transfer (STTR) grants from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), or Department of Defense (DOD).   Target applicants are emerging life sciences companies whose products are production-ready and have high potential for market adoption and penetration, are poised for rapid growth that will create jobs in the Commonwealth, and are positioned for additional financing.  Companies must be a small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

The Program will provide matching grants of up to $500,000 to eligible life sciences companies.  The Small Business Matching Grant Program is the newest program the Center is offering to support early-stage companies.  Other programs include the Life Sciences Accelerator, through which the Center provides loan financing to early-stage companies, the Internship Challenge, the Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program, and the Center's Cooperative Research Matching Grant Program.

"This is all about jobs. By helping life sciences companies grow, we create new opportunities for people to work," said Governor Deval Patrick. "As we continue to strengthen our global leadership in the life sciences, this program will meet an important need and make Massachusetts an even more attractive place for life sciences companies to locate and grow."

"Our new Small Business Matching Grant Program reflects the Center's ongoing commitment to supporting emerging life sciences companies that will grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth," said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.  "This program will provide important leverage on federal funding and will fill a critical funding gap in the lifecycle of life sciences companies."

"This is a precedent setting program, really the first of its kind in the 50 states, supporting the growth of companies that are going into commercialization," said Robert Baker, President of the Smaller Business Association of New England. "No other state has this type of incentive to help companies get to that next level and the Smaller Business Association of New England, which had a big role in founding this program, is happy to put our support behind it now."

"Small businesses are facing challenges and gaps with access to capital, and everyone agrees that job creation and development is critical to us emerging fully from the severe recession we have all experienced," said Robert Nelson, Massachusetts District Director for the Small Business Administration.    "The Small Business Matching Grant Program (SBMG) leverages on the strengths of the Massachusetts economy and the federal funds our small businesses receive through the SBIR and STTR programs.  The program being announced by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will not only facilitate the creation of high quality manufacturing jobs which are so critical at this stage of the economic recovery but will also help the Commonwealth to achieve real economic development."  

"Massachusetts' program will help small life sciences firms raise the third-party funds they need to compete for the National Cancer Institute's $3M SBIR Bridge Award," said Michael Weingarten, Director of the Small Business Innovation Research Development Center at the National Cancer Institute.  "This is a good example of how states can work collaboratively with the federal government to 'bridge' critical funding gaps in order to develop the next generation of cancer therapies and diagnostics that are so needed to improve patient care."


About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a ten-year, $1 billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008.  The Center's mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition.  This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties between sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community.  For more information, visit



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