Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Life Lab

  • What is the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab?

    The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a shared laboratory space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars. A 15,000-square-foot facility on Harvard’s Allston campus, the fully-permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies is adjacent to the Harvard i-lab and Launch Lab. Life Lab operations opened in the Fall of 2016.

  • How many lab benches and coworking spaces are available? What is the pricing?

    The Life Lab will have 36 lab benches and 50 coworking desk spaces. Additionally, there is the potential for a private lab suite for a resident venture. The facility is bio-safety lab level 1 (BL1) with dedicated bio-safety lab level 2 (BL2) rooms. The space is supported by fume hood alcoves, tissue culture rooms, refrigeration, a microscopy room, and associated operational infrastructure.

    The cost of benches, coworking desks, and the private lab suite is below market value. Benches are $2,500/month, per scientist, which includes one coworking desk membership. Each coworking desk membership is $200/month. The cost of a private lab suite for a resident venture of up to six individuals is $15,000-$18,000/month.

  • What comes standard with a Life Lab membership?

    A Life Lab membership includes a dedicated lab space for bench members as well as permits, waste handling, and all common lab equipment needed for life sciences research. Access to coworking space, conference rooms, and a kitchen is also included.

    All members will have full access to the space and the resources of the adjacent Harvard i-lab including its 20 conference rooms, prototyping room, and venture-focused programming such as workshops and advisors. Additionally, the Life Lab will also feature industry-specific programming developed for life-sciences startups.

    Members can be expected to begin work — and start to participate in the robust innovation community that is the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem — the day they move into the Life Lab.

  • What instrumentation/equipment is available?

    The Life Lab is equipped with all the latest instruments — both fixed and benchtop equipment — that are necessary for life-sciences research. This includes: microscopes, freezers, centrifuges, spectrometers, PCR systems, chemical hoods, biosafety cabinets and incubators, plate readers, cell counters, balances and sonicators, and more.

    Members will be able to reserve equipment through an online reservation tool.

  • What are the safety protocols? Who handles waste management?

    Delivered in partnership with Harvard Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the entity engaged to operate the lab facility will meet or exceed the health and safety protocols typically set forth in similar BL1 and BL2 labs at Harvard. In partnership with Harvard EHS, LabCentral will provide environmental health and safety support and oversight. Harvard EHS will handle all waste management processes.

  • What other services and benefits are available to members?

    Group purchasing is available, as well as other programs in which pooled access reduces costs. All members will have full access to the Harvard Innovation Labs’ resources, including its programming, advisors, and mentors, and its conference rooms and prototyping lab. The Life Lab will have coworking spaces, conference rooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to great opportunities provided by at Harvard Innovation Labs, members may also participate in LabCentral programs.

  • Is there a time limit for how long ventures can be members of the Life Lab?

    The Life Lab will enter into occupancy agreements with each of the venture teams selected through the application process. The occupancy agreements will offer venture teams the opportunity to lease bench space on a month-to-month basis at below market rates. It is anticipated that most ventures will be housed at the Life Lab for a residency period of 6-18 months.

    Companies planning to leave the Life Lab must submit to the advisory committee, in writing, their intentions to leave 30 days before their date of departure.

    In order to create space for an expected stream of viable startups, companies will be informally assessed by members of the advisory committee after six months. They will also have a full review after one year to ensure continued compatibility with the Life Lab’s mission and curatorial standards.

  • What is the process for becoming a Life Lab member?

    The Life Lab is now accepting applications for high-potential candidates. Interested teams and individuals should complete the application form found on the Life Lab website.

    Following submission, members of the Harvard Innovation Labs’ selection committee will review candidate applications and interview selected applicants to finalize their candidacy and ensure consistency with the Life Lab’s mission. Those who meet the initial criteria for residency in the space and community will be notified about the steps involved for further review by the Harvard Innovation Labs’ advisory committee.

  • What are the criteria for acceptance?

    Teams will be selected based on fit with the overall mission of the Life Lab, fulfillment of Harvard-related eligibility requirements, and future growth potential. To assess fit for occupancy in the Life Lab, interested teams should fill out the Life Lab application.

    Eligible teams will be high-potential ventures founded and led by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars. Teams must demonstrate that their enterprise supports the Harvard community and that they are willing to contribute to the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem. Teams typically would comprise two to five individuals who demonstrate expertise in the technology/science, as well as an understanding of the commercial/market need, and a vision for how they will build a viable business.

    Student teams in the i-lab Venture Incubation Program (VIP) may be eligible to receive sponsored space. Non-student ventures must have some form of institutional funding. As part of the Life Lab occupancy agreement, the Harvard-related team member must be based at the site.

  • What are your expectations for how soon Life Lab space will be filled; will there be a waiting list?

    It is expected that the Life Lab will be close to full capacity by the end of 2017. We will evaluate applications on a rolling basis and admit new ventures when space becomes available.

  • Who are Life Lab’s operating partners?

    The Life Lab is operated in partnership with LabCentral.

  • Who is on the Harvard Innovation Labs advisory board?

    The Life Lab is operated as part of the Harvard Innovation Labs. Specific direction and guidance is provided by the Harvard Innovation Labs’ Deans’ Advisory Board, which includes provost Alan Garber, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp, and the University Deans and faculty.