UMass wins $5 million nanotech dev't grant

08/07/2007
By From the Boston Business Journal

 The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative awarded a $5 million grant to the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Monday to create a new research and development facility specialized in nanotechnology.

The money represents the first major investment on behalf of the MTC's John Adams Innovation Institute, which oversees two investment funds totaling $35 million. The state Legislature founded the Westborough-based technology center via last year's $100 million economic stimulus bill.

Yesterday's grant came from the institute's $20 million University Investment Fund. The nonprofit group also manages a $15 million fund earmarked for regional technology projects in the commonwealth.

MTC officials plan to divvy up the institute's remaining funds among local technology firms and research organizations by 2007.

Pat Larkin, the MTC's director, said Monday's award will be delivered over the next five years.

"The extraordinary size of this particular grant is due to the significance of the state's emerging opportunity in nanotechnology," he said.

UMass will use the funds to develop a Center of Excellence in Nanomanufacturing at its Lowell campus. The center will primarily focus on the commercialization of nanotechnology inventions while also providing a fertile training ground for prospective engineers and researchers, Larkin said.

The grant comes just months after UMass Lowell teamed with Northeastern University and the University of New Hampshire to win a $12.4 million National Science Foundation grant to establish a Nanotechnology Science and Engineering Center. Larkin said the NSF-funded facility and UMass Lowell's Center of Excellence are separate projects, but that both organizations will work closely together.