Massachusetts Life Sciences Board Approves State Funding for Project
LOWELL, Mass. – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced today the approval of a $10 million capital grant to support construction of UMass Lowell’s Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center.
The 84,000-square-foot, $70 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC), which is scheduled to open this fall, builds on UMass Lowell’s unique expertise in plastics engineering, nanotechnology, bioprocessing, electro-optics and advanced manufacturing. The $10 million grant will fund research facilities at the new center, providing the university and companies access to clean-room capabilities that are unparalleled in this region of the Commonwealth and a state-of-the-art lab focused on developing new medical applications and other capabilities tied to nano, bio-optics and other technology.
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is the agency charged with implementing the state’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2007 and approved by the Legislature in 2008. The center’s $10 million award to UMass Lowell, combined with $35 million in previously approved state funding from other sources, will pay a substantial portion of the cost of the ETIC. UMass Lowell is funding the rest of the project through a mix of sources, including private donations from alumni, friends of the university and industry.
“Investments in education, innovation and infrastructure are key components of our growth strategy and this project is putting that strategy into action," said Patrick. "The Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center will build on the important regional life sciences cluster in Massachusetts.”
“Our Lowell campus is playing a critical role in the expansion of life sciences in the Merrimack Valley region,” said UMass President Robert L. Caret. “The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s investment in the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center will allow this important project to move forward, which is critically important in helping the campus carry out its regional economic development role.’’
“UMass Lowell is grateful to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, as well as Gov. Deval Patrick and his administration, and the state legislature, particularly the Lowell delegation, for this crucial funding,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We will leverage this to gain additional support for the emerging technologies center and the cutting-edge research that will be conducted there with our faculty, students and industries across the region. This will enable the university to build on its significant role in fueling the state's innovation economy.”
“UMass Lowell is one of our state’s strongest contributors to innovations in plastics engineering, nanotechnology, and bioprocessing – capabilities that are among the many reasons that Massachusetts is considered a global leader in the life sciences,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “We are pleased to support the construction of this new facility, which will enhance the University’s capacity for innovation, and contribute to the regional economy in Greater Lowell.”
The funding approved this week will support the purchase of highly technical equipment for the ETIC’s micro-nano fabrication facility, or “clean room,” needed to conduct many aspects of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing research and development, and outfit a nanomedicine facility on the building’s third floor.
The ETIC, located on the university’s North Campus, is the first new academic building to be constructed from the ground up at UMass Lowell in three decades. In addition to the ETIC, a second academic building, one focused on health and social sciences, is under construction at UMass Lowell, as well as new housing for 1,000 students and a parking garage to support a 37 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment.
About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a 10-year, $1 billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The Center’s mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.
About UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering, education, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, liberal arts, management, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu