A retrospective on MassBio’s 2023

Dec 18, 2023

By Kendalle Burlin O'Connell, MassBio CEO and President

MassBio considers it an honor to be able to represent the interests of our 1,600+ members. The work that goes on at your companies and organizations is changing the lives of patients around the world and giving hope to those with a yet unmet medical need. Our role is to support you in your endeavors—to do what we can to help you advance your science. We pride ourselves on the programming we offer, the partnering and networking opportunities we provide, and the cost savings we deliver, as well as the industry voice we speak with to lawmakers and journalists alike.

It is during times of difficult business choices, grim headlines, and misguided policy decisions that your membership is perhaps the most valuable. We are a resource that is always here, in the good times and the more challenging ones.

As we turn the page to a new year, I am eager to showcase the new and returning offerings we have on tap for 2024, but I think it is important look back on what we’ve experienced together this past year:

Training a new biotech workforce

  • A new training paradigm: Bioversity, a MassBio initiative, is blazing training pathways and creating employer connections for underrepresented populations and individuals traditionally left out of the life sciences to quickly propel them into well-paying jobs and lifelong careers.
  • Unlocking talent in Dorchester: In January, Bioversity’s first 8-week program will prepare roughly 24 local residents to join a life sciences company in an entry level role at no cost to them through a curriculum developed with industry input and by the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services.

Driving innovation through partnering and mentoring

  • Partnering at a higher level: MassBio’s Pharma and R&D Days continue to provide unparalleled opportunities for innovators to connect with world-leading biopharmaceutical companies.
  • Helping founders do business: More than 20 emerging startups across a diverse range of focus areas have completed MassBioDrive’s 8-week accelerator, utilizing its business curriculum, mentors, and strategic partners to advance their enterprises.

Delivering on diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Elevating health equity: This year we elevated the conversation around health equity across all our events, including State of Possible, the DEI Conference, and the Patient Advocacy Summit.
  • Keeping tabs on progress: We released the second report on the progression of equity and inclusion in our industry, part of our commitment to support members as you launch and scale your DEI initiatives and to do our part to accelerate change.  

Educating and connecting in the Hub and beyond

  • An unparalleled member benefit: The MassBioHub as been the place to be this year with countless member-booked gatherings, conferences, board meetings, convenings … you name it, we’ve hosted it, all at below market rates for members.
  • Events that run the gamut: We have been proud to offer all-day summits, nuts-and-bolts trainings, inspiring keynotes, timely forums, fascinating pitches, unmatched partnering opportunities, and of course our famous networking mixers, all to the benefit of our members and the ecosystem at large.

Representing industry on both Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill

  • Protecting patient driven innovation: We’ve engaged all year with the Massachusetts congressional delegation, the White House, and federal agencies to spotlight the unintended consequences of the IRA and lobby for fixes to the law’s most problematic elements.
  • Lengthening our Bay State lead: From supporting the state’s efforts to successfully attract ARPA-H to working closely with the Healey Administration on a possible reauthorization of the Life Sciences Initiative, MassBio’s government affairs team has continued to nurture strong relationships with policymakers.

Expanding cost savings and benefit options

  • Rev’ing up HR solutions: MassBio now offers RevHR, a PEO like program, as a new EdgeBenefits partner to provide market competitive benefits, including health insurance, coupled with support and resources created specifically for Massachusetts life sciences companies.
  • Introducing new preferred vendors: Corporate Traveler USA, the corporate travel partner of MassBio, has joined Morgan Stanley, Vizi, Globalization Partners, The Hartford, and Mercury as part of MassBioEdge to deliver best in class plans and competitive discounts to MassBio members.

Massachusetts is the hotbed of innovation because of the businesses and the people that call this Commonwealth home. MassBio, likewise, is able to be successful in our charge to advance Massachusetts’ leadership because of our members. I love nothing more than seeing our MassBio family at events and watching our industry continue to rewrite what is possible in the pursuit of human health.

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