Gathering Promotes Opportunities to Link Life Sciences Industry with Philanthropy in Greater Boston

December 16, 2016

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Boston – Leaders of the life science sector convened at the Boston Foundation Tuesday evening to initiate what all insisted would be a long-term conversation aimed at educating the public and the philanthropic sector about where life sciences fit in Greater Boston’s burgeoning innovation economy and educating the life science sector on how best and most practically to participate in philanthropy and give back to their host communities.

Speakers at the public event included Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation, Rob Perez, Founder and Chairman of Life Science Cares, and Travis McCready, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

Grogan hailed the event as an opportunity to further introduce Pledge 1% to leaders in the region’s innovation economy. Pledge 1% is the San Francisco-based global nonprofit that assists businesses  in establishing charitable programs in which participants commit one percent equity to nonprofits and good causes. The Boston Foundation is the facilitator of Pledge 1% Boston.  Life Sciences Cares recently announced an alliance with Pledge 1% Boston.

“In our custodial role with Pledge 1% Boston and our general advocacy for greater unity between the philanthropic sector and the burgeoning innovation economy in Greater Boston, The Boston Foundation is thrilled to help announce this alliance,” Grogan said. “It is a tangible demonstration of the commitment on both sides to light a path to meaningful charitable giving, and at the same time is a show of good faith that the life sciences community is eager to participate.”

Perez said, “We are excited to partner with Pledge 1% Boston and the Boston Foundation to embed giving back into the DNA of life sciences companies. The mission of Life Science Cares is to put the true good that life sciences companies represent into action—not just for human health, but for human potential.”

Life Science Cares is an emerging nonprofit that engages leaders and companies in the life sciences space with giving back.  In just the last year, Life Science Cares has recruited more than 70 leaders and companies to unite their human and financial resources to end poverty in greater Boston.  The organization has attracted leaders from across the industry to its Board of Advisors, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals CEO John Maraganore, Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeffrey Leiden, MassBio President and CEO Robert K. Coughlin, Ovascience Founder and Chairwoman Michelle Dipp, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Travis McCready. Other notable Greater Boston community leaders on Life Science Care’s Board of Advisors include Deval Patrick and Greg Shell from Bain Capital, former Millennium and Forum Pharmaceuticals CEO Deborah Dunsire and former Cubist Pharmaceuticals CEO Mike Bonney. Initial nonprofit grant partners include Citizen Schools, Bottom Line, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

"This gathering was an important opportunity for the life sciences ecosystem and civic leaders to join together and discuss how together we can work to improve the communities we live and work in every day," McCready said.  "Through the leadership of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MassBio, Life Science Cares, and The Boston Foundation, we hope to extend the life sciences' civic participation from discovering cures to empowering healthy communities.  Yesterday’s discussion of collaboration opportunities that will meet community needs in Boston and throughout Massachusetts was an important start."

MassBio’s Coughlin called on peers in the life science sector to view the alliances demonstrated Tuesday as a gateway to better ways of giving back.

“We know that Massachusetts life sciences companies and their employees are driven by the mission to help people in need,” Coughlin said. “So we are thrilled to work with The Boston Foundation, Life Science Cares and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to harness that drive and make significant impact throughout Greater Boston.”