Discovering the Future
ASCENT – Life Sciences
Multifunctional platform for science-intensive ventures’ origination and development
General Information
About the Program

Advanced Solutions Center (ASCENT) builds unique companies through an evolutionary methodology that create breakthrough technologies․ The innovative approach enables ASCENT to originate and foster the continuous development of science-intensive ventures, that can result in bountiful in aggregate value, thousands of patents and a pipeline to include a multitude of technological development programs․ The second batch of the program focuses on molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, computational biology, pharmaceutical, and biomedical sciences

ASCENT aims to create advanced solutions and eventually spin-off companies. The ASCENT’s scientists explore original scientific hypotheses, conceive and refine unconventional approaches to research problems, discover market niches where technological breakthroughs can take place, and develop revolutionary solutions in the life sciences. Prototypes/solutions are developed resulting in the creation of new companies. The researchers working on a prototype/solution receive equity in the spin-off companies in addition to the competitive salaries offered by ASCENT. A venture capital fund associated with ASCENT will invest in spin-off companies to ensure their growth.

Training at Flagship Pioneering

ASCENT partners with Flagship Pioneering (U.S.-based counterpart) which is one of the global leaders in innovation in life sciences. Since its founding in 2000, Flagship Pioneering has originated and fostered the development of more than 100 scientific ventures resulting in $30 billion in aggregate value, thousands of patents and patent applications, and more than 50 clinical trials for novel therapeutic agents. Flagship Pioneering operates a Fellowship Program providing a rare opportunity to work closely with its team of entrepreneurial scientists. ASCENT recruited its own Fellows for the program as part of its capacity-building efforts. Selected scientist joined Flagships’ Fellows in September - November 2019, for a 12-week program at the Flagship Pioneering offices in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Research-to-Company Process

Upon completion of the training and return to Yerevan, ASCENT hired the trained scientists as its full-time staff to engage in the Research-to-Company process.

Company creation process unfolds in the following phases:

Explorationcurrently active stage

Groups work intensively on generating “out-of-the-box” research ideas that will lay the ground for the disruptive solutions of the future. The conceived hypotheses and ideas are to be constantly filtered and refined during the exploration process. The potentially unconventional breakthroughs are further compared to the existing solutions and market niches are identified.


ProtoCo

Idea feasibility study and testing take place. At the end of the phase either the idea is rejected, or, in case of a successful result, a prototype is developed and patented (if applicable). New members with specific expertise required for the deployment of the hypothesized solution are to join the core research team. As soon as a prototype is ready, a larger team (with the involvement of business members) is formed.


NewCo

The company is established as an internal venture under the Advanced Solutions Center leadership for product and platform development plan, as well as assembling a broader team and board. At this stage, the company starts to raise additional investments.


GrowthCo

The company can generate adequate sales, grow and thrive. CEO’s and other executive-level officers’ change may take place as the company grows and places new demands on senior executives.