(Boston, MA) The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab) and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced the kickoff of the Galactic Grant Competition, which enables Massachusetts-based life sciences companies to compete for funding to support experiments on the International Space Station’s (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The competition was announced at a November press conference by Governor Deval Patrick, the ISS National Lab and the MLSC. Up to $500,000 will be awarded to one or more Massachusetts life sciences companies to support flight projects to the ISS. The application period opened today, and applications are due by April 30, 2015.
“Massachusetts is the global leader in life sciences, so it is only fitting that we are the first state to promote life sciences experiments on the International Space Station,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “We are taking our spirit of collaboration to space and I look forward to seeing companies have the opportunity to conduct research and technology development in such a unique environment.”
Through this competition, MLSC and the ISS National Lab seek to encourage life sciences companies to take advantage of the distinct attributes of a truly unique microgravity research platform. The microgravity environment on the ISS has profound and unique effects on biological phenomena and can enable discoveries with terrestrial applications, including drug discovery, development, delivery, and diagnostics. To date, the ISS National Lab has sponsored a variety of life science investigations destined for the ISS National Lab within the areas of non-embryonic stem cells, protein crystal growth, bone density and muscle loss. the ISS National Lab is the nonprofit organization tasked by NASA to manage research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.
“This contest funded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center allows for the ISS National Lab to connect specifically with life science companies in the state of Massachusetts,” said the ISS National Lab Director of Business Development Cynthia Bouthot. “The Galactic Grant Competition will provide Massachusetts researchers a better understanding of the onboard capabilities that exist on the ISS, and ultimately provide input, ideas and resources so that companies can leverage this one-of-a-kind research platform to improve human health.”
“Thanks to Governor Patrick’s Life Sciences Initiative, Massachusetts-based companies will now have a unique opportunity to access the International Space Station — a one-of-a kind platform for applied research projects that will help bring new therapies and cures to market,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. “The Galactic Grant Competition is now underway, and I urge life sciences companies across Massachusetts to submit an application!”
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to work with the ISS National Lab personnel on the development of their proposal. Once proposals are submitted they will go through the ISS National Lab review process. The announcement of winner(s) will take place on July 7th as part of the ISS R&D conference taking place at the Boston Marriott Copley.
To learn more about the competition, including upcoming information sessions and how to submit a proposal, please visit: www.masslifesciences.com/programs/galactic
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About the ISS National Lab: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. the ISS National Lab is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit www.issnationallab.org.
About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.
About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center: The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development, and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and wellbeing. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information, go to www.masslifesciences.com.
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