Accelerating Scientific Discovery and Empowering Next Generation Leaders at Harvard

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The Blavatnik Family Foundation has long supported transformational projects led by innovators and researchers at Harvard University. A particular focus of this effort is advancing discoveries that expand our understanding of disease, promoting the launch of new ventures in life sciences and the development of therapeutics to improve human health.

Len Blavatnik’s goal is to empower the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs and provide a significant catalyst for research and scientific breakthroughs.

“Len Blavatnik’s vision of facilitating scientific discovery and spurring new venture creation is having a profound impact on HBS, on Harvard University, and on the world at large,” said HBS Dean Srikant Datar. “His support is enabling new generations of scientists and entrepreneurs to transform every aspect of the life sciences. We are inspired by his extraordinary generosity and the pivotal role he is playing in realizing the promise of R&D—and leadership—in improving society.”

The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator

The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator at Harvard University provides strategic, financial, and advisory support for well-defined, faculty-led R&D projects with strong commercial potential.

The Accelerator supports innovative, investigator-initiated research, and helps to develop preliminary observations into robust intellectual property positions. It helps scientists to advance new discoveries and technologies to the point where it makes sense to pursue an industry partnership or launch a startup.

To date, the Office of Technology Development has committed $23 million to support 127 projects across the University through the Blavatnik Accelerator program. Nearly half of the completed projects have already led to industry partnerships or licensing transactions with either existing pharmaceutical and biotech companies or newly formed startups. The 19 new companies founded to commercialize these innovations have collectively raised over $2 billion in financing.

“The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator has established itself as a powerful program to advance Harvard’s life-sciences innovations to a point of validated, commercial readiness far beyond what is typically seen in academia,” said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard’s Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer. “Important new therapeutics and medical innovations are advancing toward the clinic thanks to Len Blavatnik’s vision for, and support of, the Accelerator.”

The Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship

The Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship offers Harvard Business School alumni and Harvard-affiliated post-docs the opportunity to create new ventures around promising life science technologies while developing their leadership talents.

Since 2013, 30 fellows have completed the program, created 23 science-based businesses, and raised more than $370M in collective funding. This amount excludes a successful June 2020 IPO led by an alumnus Blavatnik Fellow that raised $213M.

Companies started by Blavatnik Fellows span a broad range of life science-related categories including vision and hearing impairment, women’s health, aging, sports medicine, diagnostics, neuroscience, and healthcare access.

The seventh annual cohort of Blavatnik Fellows started in July 2020.

 The Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989) Fellowship Fund at Harvard Business School

The Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989) Fellowship Fund was established in 2004 to celebrate Harvard Business School’s first capital campaign and in honor of Len Blavatnik’s 15th HBS Reunion. The fund allows HBS to attract a broad range of highly talented students from around the world to pursue a transformative educational experience regardless of their financial means.

The MBA fellowship program has a direct, highly positive impact on recipients, the broader HBS community, and society at large. Half of all MBA students receive support in the form of need-based fellowships over their two-year enrollment. These students bring a diversity of experience and perspective to HBS that enriches learning for all.  Fellowship recipients have gone on to lead local and global organizations, improving the lives of countless individuals.

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