Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announces 2013 – 2014 solicitation for capital projects and equipment grants

August 5, 2013

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the quasi-public agency tasked with implementing the state’s 10-year, $1-billion Life Sciences Initiative, today announced the launch of the third round of an open solicitation for life-sciences-related capital projects. The solicitation covers equipment and supplies for public high schools as well as capital projects for academic/research institutions (including two- and four-year colleges), business incubators and other not-for-profit organizations in the Commonwealth. The MLSC will invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in select high schools and in high-potential economic development projects across the state which promise to create jobs and make a significant contribution to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. The MLSC has allocated up to $35 million in capital dollars for this solicitation.

The High School Equipment and Supplies Grant Program will enable the purchase of equipment and supplies to train students in life sciences technology and research. The program will address a funding gap in capital dollars for public and not-for-profit workforce training and educational institutions. In this round, vocational-technical high schools, high schools in any of the state’s “Gateway Cities”, Title I high schools, and high schools implementing innovative STEM curriculum will all be eligible to apply for funding. Eligible high schools, as well as community-based organizations that serve such high schools, are invited to apply for this grant funding by completing an online application via the MLSC’s website (www.masslifesciences.com).  

The MLSC will manage the Capital Program solicitation for academic/research institutions, business incubators, and other not-for-profit organizations through a two-phased approach. In Phase I applicants will submit a short, online application and one-page summary of the proposed project. Applicants selected for Phase II will be asked to submit a full proposal for evaluation. For-profit organizations are not eligible for capital funding, and municipalities and other governmental entities are not eligible for capital funding through this solicitation. Applications must be submitted online, and more information about the program may be accessed via the MLSC’s website.

“Funding for capital projects is a central part of the Administration’s vision for life sciences expansion and with these types of strategic investments we have cemented our status as a global leader in this sector,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Co-Chairman of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors. “This open call for proposals will allow us to identify projects across the state that will strengthen our innovation economy, create jobs, and support scientific advancement.”

“The MLSC has thus far committed $321 million to 22 capital projects, which are creating over one million square feet of new training, research and manufacturing space across Massachusetts,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the MLSC. “We have also invested $6.6 million in equipment and supplies for academic institutions throughout the state. Through these investments we are creating unique resources to strengthen our life sciences ecosystem, and our position as a global leader in the life sciences. We look forward to receiving additional proposals through this open solicitation.”

One past recipient of $4.1 million in capital funding was the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Mass., for the newly-created Forsyth Center for Salivary Diagnostics (FCSD). The grant will support the construction and equipping of the FCSD, a facility that will seek to revolutionize the way disease testing is performed. The FCSD will develop and commercialize saliva-based tests to replace costly and inconvenient blood-based disease detection tests that are currently used. Saliva contains virtually all of the same medical diagnostic information as blood, including DNA, proteins, hormones, etc., but is easily obtained non-invasively and painlessly, thus making it the approach of choice for people of all ages.

“The MLSC grant to create the Forsyth Salivary Diagnostic Center has the potential to revolutionize health care, by creating new opportunities for early disease detection and prevention,” said Dr. Philip Stashenko, President & CEO of the Forsyth Institute. “Saliva is the mirror to the body, and Forsyth is the world leader in innovative research linking oral and overall health. We will generate new saliva-based diagnostics that can be used in diagnostic laboratories but in addition, by people to monitor their own health.”

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 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The MLSC’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 among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

About the Capital Program

Through the Capital Program, the MLSC invests in high-potential economic development projects that promise to make a significant contribution to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. Funding is awarded to Massachusetts legally organized not-for-profit entities, such as academic/research institutions, hospitals engaged in research, disease foundations and business incubators.

About the High School Equipment Supplies Program

The High School Equipment and Supplies Grant Program addresses a funding gap in capital dollars for public and not-for-profit workforce training and educational institutions by enabling the purchase of equipment and supplies to train students in life sciences technology and research. Eligible high schools, as well as community-based organizations that serve such high schools, can apply for funding to purchase equipment and/or supplies to support an education and training program that prepares participants for employment in the life sciences.

 

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