San Diego, CA – Governor Deval Patrick today joined officials from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) at the 2014 BIO International Convention to announce the launch of the Universal Partnerships (UP) Program, a new international program to provide grant funding to support Massachusetts companies who are forming R&D collaborations with life science organizations throughout the world. The creation of the UP Program furthers the Patrick Administration’s efforts to create global partnerships between life science organizations to enable scientific and commercial breakthroughs and to fuel economic development in the Commonwealth. The UP program enhances the MLSC’s international program portfolio by offering Massachusetts more collaboration opportunities.
“We invest in the life sciences because we are choosing to shape our own future,” said Governor Patrick. “I commend the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center on creating this unique and forward-looking international collaboration.”
For the inaugural year of the UP Program, the MLSC will award grants ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $200,000 to Massachusetts companies. Applications will be accepted year round and an ongoing review will allow for a streamlined process. An eligible project will focus on a milestone within an R&D collaboration and will consist of one Massachusetts company and an organization in a non-U.S. geography which could include a company, an academic institution, a hospital or a research institute. Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.
“Massachusetts is committed to seeking new models of innovation to drive future economic growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “The UP program expands the footprint for collaboration across the globe.”
This new program will enable medical breakthroughs by offering Massachusetts companies the opportunity to access optimal solutions for research challenges wherever they are being developed.
“The MLSC’s Universal Partnerships program is based on our strong belief that knowledge creation occurs worldwide and global collaboration to share that knowledge will accelerate innovation and economic development,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President and CEO of the MLSC. “We are excited to announce this new program to the world at the 2014 BIO Convention and look forward to the exciting collaborations that will follow.”
“It is clear that medical and scientific innovation know no boundaries, and we congratulate Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for recognizing the powerful potential of international collaboration for the Massachusetts life sciences cluster,” said Robert K .Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio, the state’s biopharma trade association. “The continued support of our legislative leaders with creative programs like UP underlines the Commonwealth’s commitment to the success of this industry, and to the health of patients around the world.”
“Collaboration is key in the life sciences, and the announcement of this new Universal Partnerships program is incredibly exciting,” said Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray. “I look forward to seeing the projects and businesses that result and their impact here and abroad.”
“The UAE has the highest annual sales per capita for medicines in the GCC, and thepharmaceutical market in the region has witnessed considerable recent progress on the back of favorable demographic and economic factors,” said Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Executive Director of DuBiotech. “Building and maintaining international cooperation through partnerships is a high priority for the United Arab Emirates, and DuBiotech specifically to ensure we capitalize on the potential of this opportunity. Joining forces with those who share a common goal allows us to build knowledge and exchange ideas that will lead to us growing together and allows the field of biotechnology and R&D to thrive. The MLSC encourages worldwide collaboration in the life sciences industry, and DuBiotech, the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, is proud to be a part of it
“One Nucleus is proud to have a highly collaborative and enjoyable relationship with Massachusetts – fueled by a meeting with Governor Patrick in 2009 and which has seen a range of tangible activities with him, the MA Life Sciences Center and MassBIO since then for the benefit of companies on both sides of the pond. Long may it continue,” said Harriet Fear, British Business Ambassador and Chief Executive, One Nucleus.
“On June 11, 2014 JETRO, representing the government of Japan, proudly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment to promote business activities,” said Chief Executive Director, JETRO LA, Sachiko Yoshimura. “Japanese companies and the government of Japan have extensively invested in life sciences, and most recently are intensely focused on regenerative medicine. Establishing a flourishing relationship with MLSC will surely accelerate R&D and trade, and we very much look forward to our collaboration. JETRO will be holding a Japan-US bio-tech business match up event on June 27th and welcome interested participants in the field.”