The foundation of Biogen’s philosophy – Caring Deeply – can be seen in the ways we engage with the communities where we work.

At Biogen, we are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists through our support of youth and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and to being agents of positive change with lasting impact by building stronger and healthier communities.

We aspire to be a positive presence wherever we operate, demonstrated by our employee volunteerism efforts, such as Care Deeply Day, the grants we make through the Biogen Foundation and our unique, hands-on Community Labs, which have provided more than 50,000 students a hands-on introduction to the wonders of science since 2002.


Our Focus

Community Engagement

Our commitment to making a positive impact in the world includes locations that are close to home: the communities in which we operate. This commitment is enshrined in our annual global day of volunteer service – Care Deeply Day. Since 2011 we have set aside this day to enable all employees to reach out and make an impact on their local communities. Service projects have included serving meals to the homeless, providing support at and senior centers, fixing up youth centers, participating in park clean-ups, tending community gardens and assisting at local food banks. At our 2018 Care Deeply Day, more than 3,200 employees in 28 countries supported over 60 volunteer projects.

In recognition of our efforts in the community, we received the 2018 “Breakthroughs in the Community” Award from Breakthrough Greater Boston – one of our STAR Initiative recipients – for inspiring excitement for learning, creating paths to college and promoting careers in education. Additionally, Biogen’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) facility was recognized with two community awards in 2018: the Triangle Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award for our corporate partnership with the Museum of Life & Science in Durham, North Carolina, and the 2018 STEMmy Award for STEM Industry Partner of the Year from STEM in the Park. The latter celebrates our ongoing commitment to investing in the future of the next generation of scientists and our efforts to make STEM education and careers accessible to diverse populations.

Read more about our collaboration with Food for Free in our Spotlight Stories feature.

Learn more about our Community Engagement efforts.

Biogen Foundation

The Biogen Foundation supports access to science education and to essential human services for children and their families in the communities in which we work and live. The Biogen Foundation is deeply committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations. Most of all, we want young people to know that through science they have the ability to change the world.

The Biogen Foundation’s grant-making programs focus on two core areas: science education and strengthening our communities. As a result, the Biogen Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofit organizations that focus on four areas: providing access to hands-on science education, teacher development in science, college readiness and support and basic social needs (child hunger, poverty and social mobility). The Biogen Foundation has both a U.S. Grants Program and international Grants Program and, in 2018, gave $4.85 million in community grants to a range of nonprofit organizations.

We deepened our commitment to science education in 2018 with two new innovative programs – the $10 million-funded STAR Initiative and the SPARK Video Contest. Committing $10 million over four years, the STAR Initiative is a coordinated funding strategy designed to help catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. STAR – which stands for Science, Teacher support, Access and Readiness – is intended to strengthen and support the educational landscapes in these cities by helping increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for middle and high school students most underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways.

The Biogen Foundation’s SPARK Video Contest is an annual program open to Massachusetts and North Carolina middle and high school students. The contest encourages students to create fun and creative educational videos on the role of biotechnology in their lives. With a focus on genetic mutations, 86 videos were submitted from 60 eligible schools in 2018. Twenty finalist videos were featured in our general, month-long public voting period from which six grand prize winning schools were selected. The winning schools each received $10,000 to help support STEM education efforts at their schools and the students from the winning teams each received a GoPro.

In addition to the grants the Biogen Foundation makes on its own behalf, it also matches Biogen employee gifts to nonprofit organizations, up to $25,000 per U.S. employee, per year. This matching grant program contributed $1.35 million in 2018 to organizations ranging from groups that fight disease to camps for children with serious illnesses to disaster relief efforts.

Read more about the STAR Initiative and SPARK Video Contest in our Spotlight Stories feature.

Learn more about the Biogen Foundation.

Community Lab

Biogen’s Community Lab programs aim to spark middle and high school students’ curiosity for science learning and inspire them to become the science pioneers of tomorrow. As an industry leader in quality on-site, hands-on science programs for students, our mission is to get more young people excited about science and increase their knowledge of the wide array of career opportunities in the Biotech industry. Students in our programs engage in hands-on biotechnology experiments at our state-of-art facilities and interact with scientists and other biotechnology professionals. Since 2002 more than 50,000 students have participated in Biogen’s hands-on Community Lab programs at our Cambridge, Massachusetts and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina locations, including 4,787 students in 2018.

We intentionally focus on working with students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM. Through our programs, we believe we can move the needle on our goal to get more youth interested in a career in science. With the help of teachers, we bridge classroom curriculum with the cutting-edge work done at Biogen by bringing classroom concepts to life through unique and memorable hands-on lab experiences. Students get exposure to real-world experiments with DNA, gene mutations, protein purification and more while interacting with Biogen employees.

We also support teachers with the design and development of their science curriculum and labs. Additionally, we provide guidance to other schools and share our lessons learned with other organizations and companies to help spark a passion for science even further.

We recently examined the impact of our innovative Adventures in Biotechnology (AIB) summer program; one of 60 programs offered by the Community Lab. AIB is a free one-week lab-intensive program serving high school students who would typically not have access to similar programs. Results of this assessment suggest that students who participate in the AIB programs are 87 percent more likely to pursue a career in the sciences. After participating in a Community Lab program, more than 80 percent of students agreed with the statement, “I could be a scientist.”

Learn more about our Community Lab programs.