Pantheon: 2021 Award Methodologies and Disclosures

For the past 18 years, California Life Sciences (CLS) has recognized the state’s leaders from across the pharmaceutical, biotech and other allied industries to pay tribute to those making exceptional contributions to the life sciences industry. The Pantheon awards recognize excellence and celebrates the contributions and achievements of leading life sciences innovators representing therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device, and industrial biotechnology companies.


Award Categories and Eligibility Criteria:

Life Sciences Leadership Award

The Life Sciences Leader is an individual who strives to make the world a better place by employing new, innovative business models and practices in support of the life sciences. They will be recognized for overall achievement in and contribution to the California community; ability to create and execute on a vision; mentorship of future leaders; notable track record of value-creation; support of initiatives that impact the patient lives.

Eligibility Criteria: Any individual, working or retired, from life sciences industry, supportive service industries, government or academic research institutions is eligible to be nominated for this award. Organizations, such as companies, universities, government agencies and patient groups, are not eligible. Only individuals who have significantly contributed to the California life sciences industry can be nominated for this award.

Company of the Year Award

Presented to the life sciences company making the greatest advancement in, and/or the greatest overall contribution to, the California life sciences industry in the prior year; singular innovations in business model, product, R&D, manufacturing, management, diversity and inclusion.

Eligibility Criteria: Any life sciences company either headquartered in California, or an international company with significant presence in California, can be nominated for this award. Nominations can include achievements from November 2019 to present day.

Product of the Year Award

Recognizing the most promising or significant new life sciences product or technology. Preference is given to commercial stage products. Qualified life sciences products and applications include therapeutics, diagnostics, medical technology, biofuels, industrial enzymes, agricultural products and all other bio-based products and technologies.

Eligibility Criteria: A life sciences product or technology created by a company that is either headquartered in California or an international company with a significant presence in California, can be nominated for this award. Nominations can include achievements from November 2019 to present day.

Strategic Partnership of the Year Award

Acknowledges an outstanding collaboration by two or more companies that resulted in a significant impact on human health including drug therapy, R&D, capacity and access, manufacturing, drug approvals, social impact, etc.

Eligibility Criteria: A life sciences company that is either headquartered in California or an international company with a significant presence in California can be nominated for this award. Nominations can include achievements from November 2019 to present day.

Elizabeth Schar Inspiring Future Leaders Award

The Inspiring Future Leaders Award recognizes an educator, industry advocate, community program or business leader that has set an example for others in California’s life sciences industry by highlighting and promoting inclusivity and empowerment, resources and mentorship, and professional development to foster greater involvement between life sciences students, educators and the life sciences ecosystem.

Rising Star Award

Recognizes and promotes the work of a life sciences company, an individual, or a group of individuals whose achievement during the preceding year shows potential to make significant contributions to the future of the life sciences. This award highlights up-and-coming innovators who are making strides towards transforming the life sciences landscape in California.

Eligibility Criteria: Entrepreneurs from California life sciences companies and life sciences companies founded within the last ten (10) years and headquartered in California are eligible to be nominated for this award. Nominations can include achievements from November 2019 to present day.

Scientific Advancement Award

In recognition of a scientist or a team of scientists making the greatest scientific contribution towards advancing research and development in the field of life sciences.

Eligibility Criteria: Any individual scientist, working or retired, from industry, government or academic research is eligible to be nominated for this award. If the body of work is nominated as a result of collaboration, a group of two or more may be nominated for this award, who will share the award as a group. The Advisory Committee retains the right to determine the size of and composition of any such group. Corporations are not eligible for this award. Only individuals or teams that significantly contributed to the recent scientific advancement of the California life sciences industry can be nominated for this award.

Important Dates:

  • June 16: Nominations Open
  • July 23: Nominations Close
  • July 20: Advisory Committee Review + Finalist Selection
  • September 13: Announce Finalists + Voting Opens
  • September 27: Voting Closes
  • November 4: Winners Announced Live, Online


Award nominations will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on June 16 and end at 11:59 AM Pacific Time on July 23. Entries must be received within the entry period to be eligible. Any nominations received outside of those dates will not be considered. California Life Sciences may, in its sole discretion, extend the nominations end date for a reasonable period. Winners will be announced on November 4, 2021.

Individuals and organizations can be self-nominated, as well as nominated by a peer, colleague or partner. You can apply to as many categories as you would like. However, each submission must be completed separately. All submissions will be evaluated individually.

Submissions can be disqualified if the submission either subjects the submitter, CLS or Pantheon to legal jeopardy or compromises CLS members’ good will and/or reputation, intellectual property or trade secret interests.

Judging and Finalist Selection:

The shortlist of finalists will be chosen by the 2021 Pantheon Advisory Committee who will select up to three nominees in each award category and submit these nominations to public voting.

The community voting period begins at 10:00:00 AM PT on September 13, 2021 and ends at 5:00:00 PM PT on September 27, 2021. Users shall vote for the entries that they feel best meet the criteria set forth above.

Only one vote per unique email address will be accepted and recorded. Samples of fraud include:

  • Voting for others outside your location: The same IP address used for votes by more than one person with different listed locations.
  • Using a bot to create temporary email addresses to automate entry
  • Voting from home and work: Using different email addresses or other information to place two votes from the same person
  • Votes by any person under the age of 14
  • Insufficient contact information to verify a vote

In each category, the finalist with the most votes at the end of the voting period is subject to a final review by the Pantheon Advisory Committee, who may take into account the overall nominations and justifications. The 2021 Pantheon Advisory Committee, in collaboration with CLS, will have ultimate selection authority for the 2021 Pantheon slate of finalists and winners. Decisions by the Pantheon Advisory Committee are final.


By submitting an entry, you hereby agree and approve for use by California Life Sciences for marketing purposes the content you submit on the award application form and any modification, derivative form, display, performance and other use thereof in connection with the Pantheon Awards and general marketing. You and your communications team will also have many opportunities to co-market your Pantheon award placement and/or success story which – at a minimum — will include a spotlight profile repurposed from information in your entry.


The Pantheon Awards (contest), which recognizes the most innovative companies in California on November 4th, is open to California-based companies (headquartered or with operations in the state). Previous Pantheon award winners within the past three years are not eligible to participate.