In 1999, Noubar Afeyan founded a venture capital firm in Cambridge called NewcoGen, short for new company generation. The firm changed its name to Flagship Ventures a few years later, and has since become one of the biggest life science-focused VC firms in Massachusetts.

On Thursday, the firm unveiled a new name, Flagship Pioneering. To Afeyan, it’s a reflection of how the firm views its scientific ventures as uniquely innovative. In an interview, he described how rather than creating companies…