Larta Institute, a leading science and technology innovation hub focused on sustainability, announced that it has been awarded a multi-year grant by the US Small Business Administration for the development and growth of its Heal.LA platform, serving as one of only two SBA-designated regional innovation clusters in the country focused on the biosciences. Heal.LA’s goal is to identity and nurture bioscience entrepreneurs with innovations that can be trialed and scaled in Los Angeles, to promote health care access and outcomes for historically underserved communities. Heal.LA will emphasize undervalued entrepreneurs in the community through a unique and broad partnership with key organizations and leaders in Los Angeles, including Lundquist Institute BioscienceLA, USC-MESH, Cedars Sinai, Children’s Hospital LA, Biocom, and other regional academic and research institutions. Heal.LA will also advocate and support innovative workforce initiatives across the Los Angeles region.
“We are honored to enable our home region to focus on extraordinary innovations that will enhance the health and wellbeing of residents of this vast area which has some of the highest measures of inequality in the country, said Rohit Shukla, CEO of Larta. “Los Angeles has world class institutions doing groundbreaking research, it has the most diverse population in the country, and it has some of the greatest challenges in sustaining health and wellness in the post-pandemic era. In serving as a hub, Heal.LA will bring together a collaborative of like-minded and driven bioscience leaders,” Shukla added.
Larta has a long history of promoting, nurturing, and scaling innovations in the biosciences. For 18 years, it was the go-to partner to the National Institutes of Health to help commercialize publicly funded innovations across the U.S. in a program called NIH CAP, which set the standard for entrepreneurial development across the biosciences. Heal.LA initially launched as a home-grown pilot program with early partner support from Gilead Sciences and Wells Fargo prior to SBA’s recognition as the operative regional innovation cluster in the sector.