Future of Life Sciences

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, and MilliporeSigma—the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany—have come together to collaborate on multiple programs exploring the future of life sciences.

Life Sciences Supermind Activation and Report

In April and May of 2021, the Life Sciences Supermind brought together a group of leaders in the biosciences and related disciplines, using an online platform and synchronous virtual events, to gain insights into key challenges the life sciences sector will face in coming years.

The overall challenge posed to the group was:

How do we identify and apply the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic to reimagine the institutions, processes, policies and tools we use across the Life Sciences to address global health needs for all?

​Participants were invited to contribute their ideas, and comment on ideas submitted by others.

The specific categories included: 

    • Disruptive technologies and methodologies e.g. incorporating multiuse platforms and technology, disease agnostic approaches, digital tools.   
    • Future of scientific research and development, e.g. new skillsets, tools to accelerate lab productivity, innovation models, funding models, collaboration across institutions.
    • Public health preparedness, science and technologies, e.g. both infectious and chronic diseases, emerging technology within Life Science, creating a new discipline. 
    • Science communication, within the scientific community and the general public. 
    • Flexible and resilient manufacturing, supply, and distribution chains, focus on shifting needs, increasing resilience to turn the capacity for the future.


Catalyst Conversations

This series of virtual events broadens the conversation around individual technical challenge areas identified in the Life Sciences Supermind Activation. During each session, thought leaders from across the scientific community will take an in-depth look at the current state-of-affairs in the relevant topic area, share data-driven insights, and discuss the latest innovations and proposed solutions to some of today’s toughest challenges in life sciences. Each session includes live audience Q&A.

Watch a Past Event: 

Breakdowns to Breakthroughs, November 15, 2021

Science Communication, October 18, 2021

Public Health, Preparedness, Technologies & Sciences, September 22, 2021

Future of Scientific Research & Development, August 12, 2021

Reimagining the Global Health Ecosystem in a Post-COVID World​, July 14, 2021