California Life Sciences Association: Advancing Innovation

04/27/20 | 5 MIN READ

This article outlines the CLSA and all that it has to offer.

If you have already started a life sciences company or are thinking about entering the industry soon, it’s important to understand that the life sciences industry can be competitive. In order to stand out among the competition, it’s important to tap into all the resources available to you as you establish and grow your emerging company.

One fantastic resource and community available to life sciences companies is the California Life Sciences Association, a trade association that is dedicated to advancing the life sciences innovation ecosystem throughout the state of California. University Lab Partners is a proud member of CLSA.

They advocate for local, state, and national public policies while also making sure to provide extensive support to life sciences companies and entrepreneurs. If you decide to become a member of the CCLSA, you'll gain access to many fantastic resources for your business, which include everything from CLSA events to the FAST program, the latter of which provides life sciences entrepreneurs with coaching and an extensive team review. You should consider joining the CLSA if you want your life sciences business to have access to as many resources as possible within the healthy California innovation ecosystem.

About the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI)

California Life Sciences Association logo

The California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the trade association representing California’s life sciences industry. CLSA advances California’s world-leading life sciences innovation ecosystem by advocating for effective national, state and local public policies and supporting entrepreneurs and life sciences businesses.

From 100+ statewide networking events, annual thought leadership (2019 California Life Sciences Industry Report), and cost-savings through their Power Purchasing program, CLSA offers members expansive benefits. The

Interested in becoming a CLSA member or learning more about CLSA? Please email Heather Reed at

CLSA’s Advocacy Team

people inside room team

The advocacy team at CLSA is comprised of government relations professionals who are on the ground at five separate locations throughout the country, four of which are in California. These individuals engage directly with policymakers on a wide variety of issues that are important to CLSA members while also making sure that the life sciences sector in California continues to be strong.

In order to effectively shape public policy, members of the CLSA advocacy team perform lobbying, strategic collaboration, and public affairs campaigns alongside academia, industry, and government entities. The goal of this advocacy team is to shape public policy in a way that advances job creation, innovation, and investment within the life sciences ecosystem. Team members are mainly divided into local, state, and federal representatives.

CLSA Membership and Member Resources

shallow focus photo of woman using MacBook

If you would like to become a member of the CLSA, doing so will provide you with many distinct benefits.

There are four separate memberships available with the CLSA, which include:

  • Fellows Membership
  • Gold Standard Membership
  • Premium Membership
  • Sustaining Membership

The membership dues that you will be expected to pay depend on a variety of factors, the primary of which involves the life sciences sector that you're a part of. If your company happens to share an interest in the future of the life sciences industry but is not directly a part of the industry, the annual dues that you will be expected to pay depend on the number of employees in your company. If you have fewer than 50 employees in your company, annual dues will be $3,000. With 500 or more employees, annual dues are $25,000.

The other sectors that have their separate membership dues include venture and investment firms, academic and research organizations, life sciences companies with less than $100 million in revenues, and life sciences companies with more than $100 million in revenues. If your life sciences company makes more than $100 million in revenues, your annual dues depend on the exact amount of revenues you bring in. For instance, life sciences companies that bring in more than $40 billion in revenues are required to pay membership dues of $229,000. You can better determine how much your membership will cost by going to this link.

Once you have paid your dues, you will have access to many fantastic benefits. For instance, a Fellows Membership is designed to provide life sciences companies with a strong ecosystem to leverage during product development or while creating an investment pitch or marketing strategy. Eligibility to this particular membership requires the life sciences company to be pre-commercial, which means that the company has raised less than $5 million and has 12 employees or fewer.

person holding 100 US Dollar banknote

With this basic package, the benefits that you'll receive include:

  • An annual CLSA membership
  • Access to the CLSA Fast program, which is an advisory program that provides members with coaching and a comprehensive team review that can help create the right business model, an effective strategy, or a strong product development plan
  • Access to the Health Benefits Advantage Trust, which focuses on answering employee healthcare concerns
  • An opportunity to leverage the $100 million purchasing power at CLSA

Some of the additional resources that you may have access to with higher membership tiers include:

  • First right of refusal to sponsor the more than 70 life sciences events that are held by the CLSA
  • Your corporate logo featured on the CLSA homepage
  • Many additional marketing opportunities for your business
  • The ability to participate in board-level committees
  • Access to periodic advocacy initiatives that are held by the CLSA

Sustaining and Premium Members

pedestal, ranking, podium, winner, dark, 3d, top-light, bw, black and white

The highest membership tiers at CLSA include the Sustaining Membership and the Premium Membership. There are currently 63 sustaining members and 13 premium members.

Of the 63 sustaining members, the top brands include:

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Allergan
  • Edwards Lifesciences Corp.
  • Medtronic
  • Stanford University

As for the premium members, HUB International and BioMarin Pharmaceutical are two of the more well known brands with CLSA memberships.

How Can CLSA Benefit You?

close up photo of plant sprout

Joining the CLSA can be beneficial to any company that is a part of the life sciences industry or is interested in the future of the industry. The features that are provided upon becoming a member of the CLSA are designed to help companies grow while also providing a strong and healthy ecosystem where various life sciences companies can connect to solve the most pressing challenges that humanity currently faces.

The many benefits available through the CLSA extend to group savings for events and other programs, access to useful programs that can assist with company growth, many networking opportunities, and some fantastic advocacy opportunities. The benefits that you receive depend on the membership that you're a part of. At the very least, you'll be provided with all of the benefits available through the Fellows Membership. No matter the size of your life sciences company, joining the CLSA may be what you need to grow your company and gain a sizable foothold in the life sciences industry.

CLSA Events

The CLSA offers more than 70 events that members can attend or become a sponsor of. The events hosted by the CLSA are designed to bring the life science community together to network, connect, and learn. Keep in mind that it's not exactly necessary to become a member of CLSA if you want to attend these life sciences events. However, CLSA membership can provide you with complimentary or discounted access to the specific events that you're interested in.

Many of the events offered through CLSA are focused on new advancements in the life sciences industry as well as leadership, the latter of which can be very beneficial if you want to grow your life sciences company without making too many mistakes. These events come in the form of conferences, webinars, and lectures, which can give you some variety.

Whether you want to learn more about the life sciences industry or network with other professionals in an attempt to gain funding or find a business partner, the CLSA events offer enough variety to provide you with everything you're looking for. If you are a life sciences entrepreneur who wants to start a business or have already created a life sciences company, attending these events may be essential if you want to eventually be at the top of the industry. It can be difficult to gain a competitive advantage in the life sciences industry if you don't even know what's going on.

Become a Member Today!

Becoming a member of the CLSA is as easy as filling out a simple membership application. Once you have submitted your application, it should be granted or denied within a week. This trade association is among the largest in California and can provide you and your company with the resources you need to play a substantial role in the life sciences industry for years to come.

You should take a look at the 2019 CLSA industry report to learn more about the current health of the industry. Now is likely the perfect time to join the life sciences industry. However, creating a business in the industry isn't enough to gain long-term success. It's recommended that you join the CLSA today because doing so will allow you to remain aware of what's going on in the industry. Since membership dues typically scale with the size of your company, becoming a member is relatively affordable while also providing you with many notable benefits.


Revised 11/17/2020


The Ultimate Guide to Wet Lab Incubators

Download The Ultimate Guide to Wet Lab Incubators in Southern California, a handbook to assist life science start-ups through the entire decision-making process to find wet lab space.

Download Now

Fill out the form below to download the Ultimate Guide

Apply for residency today

Do you have a great company in the bioscience or medtech industry? Do you need wet-lab and/or fabrication space to develop and test your product?