The Termeer Foundation Launches Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award

Dec 8, 2020

Annual honor to recognize young life science entrepreneurs in Massachusetts and the Netherlands; fostering relationships between the two biotechnology sectors

BOSTON, December 8, 2020 – The Termeer Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on connecting life science innovators and catalyzing the creation of new medicines, today announced the creation of The Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award. The Award is part of an agreement signed in July 2019 between the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, which created and signed a Memorandum of Understanding laying the basis for a Massachusetts – Netherlands Transatlantic Life Sciences Partnership. The signatories included Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland), MassBio, HollandBIO and the Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee; all of whom agreed to provide support and organize activities to promote trans-Atlantic collaboration between the two biotechnology ecosystems.

“The establishment of the Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award is the first of many partnerships this group plans to create that will help foster a strong relationship between life science communities in the Netherlands and Massachusetts,” said Belinda Termeer, President, Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors, The Termeer Foundation. “As a native of Holland, Henri was always interested in establishing working relationships with his homeland and his new business home in Cambridge. We are delighted at the creation of this award and feel that it will provide an excellent platform for identifying future industry ambassadors and the opportunity for collaborations between these two important life science sectors.”

The Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award will be an annual award competition for life science entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and Massachusetts. Each year the Termeer Foundation and Health-Holland will select two young life science entrepreneurs, one in Massachusetts and one in the Netherlands, who are leading innovative biomedical research activities, and whose programs have the potential to strengthen transatlantic relations between the two life science regions. Candidates should have already established themselves within the life science industry leading an early-stage company, with a concrete business plan and initial funding in place. Additionally, the recipient will be someone interested in becoming actively involved in mentorship and who agrees to be involved in Termeer Foundation programs. Awardees receive Fellowship status within The Termeer Foundation, which includes access to experienced healthcare mentors, networking with fellow peer entrepreneurs, and recognition at The Termeer Foundation Annual Dinner. Recipients will also have the opportunity to spend a week visiting their fellow awardee’s company, and to participate in additional learning, networking and cultural events.

The winners of the 2021 Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award will be announced at the end of April, 2021. Nominations should be submitted here.

“Life science research is increasingly developing into a global experience with partnerships between companies in diverse global locations becoming part of our industry’s DNA,” said Hans Schikan, board member of Health-Holland and a member of the Henri Termeer Transatlantic Connections Award Steering Committee. “One of the many important elements of the biotechnology business I learned from Henri Termeer during my time at Genzyme and as CEO of Prosensa, with Henri as an inspiring mentor, was the notion of understanding the needs of patients everywhere and applying our research in the development of treatments to address those needs no matter the location.” Members of the Massachusetts – Netherlands Transatlantic Life Sciences Partnership Steering Committee include: Belinda Termeer (Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors, The Termeer Foundation), Alan Walts (Treasurer, Secretary, Mentor, Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors, The Termeer Foundation), Hans Schikan (Member Board of Directors, Health-Holland), Bob Coughlin (President/CEO, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council), Clémence Ross-van Dorp (Ambassador Life Sciences & Health Sector), Annemiek Verkamman (Managing Director, HollandBIO), John Maraganore (CEO and Director, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals), and Daniel de Boer (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ProQR Therapeutics).

“I am delighted to support this award that will provide an incredible opportunity each year for two deserving life science entrepreneurs,” said Daniel de Boer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProQR Therapeutics. “Reflecting on my personal experience, Henri’s influence has been invaluable and he was instrumental in helping me to navigate my entrance into the biotechnology industry as a CEO. We co-founded ProQR together, which is now based in the Netherlands and Massachusetts, embodying the spirit of this initiative and his legacy.”

About The Termeer Foundation

The Termeer Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to connect the world of healthcare innovators until every patient has a cure. We build and support an ever-expanding network of biotech entrepreneurs, CEOs, academics, and other innovators because we believe that helping people succeed will ultimately help their innovations reach patients. Our support includes mentoring, networking, professional development, and financial grants intended to facilitate connections, break down silos, strengthen skillsets and ultimately enable a diverse array of current and future healthcare leaders who bring much-needed solutions to patients. Find out more about The Termeer Foundation and how you can support, engage with, and join our network at or on LinkedIn @TermeerFoundation.

Erica Mawby-Roche
Termeer Foundation

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