(Caption: Conley Terminal in South Boston. Photo Courtesy…
Massachusetts Export Growth Doubles National Growth so far in 2014
(Caption: Conley Terminal in South Boston. Photo Courtesy of Massport.) By Paula Murphy The Massachusetts Export Center received good news this month: exports grew at an impressive seven percent for the first six months of 2014, far outpacing the national export growth rate of three percent for the same time period. The state’s businesses exported over $14.2 billion in manufactured goods from January to June, 2014, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Division. Top export markets include Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Germany, and most of these markets experienced robust growth. For example, exports to the United Kingdom increased by nearly 78%, exports to Mexico increased by nearly 30%, and exports to China increased by over 11%. In fact, several of our top ten export markets experienced double-digit export growth. Top export sectors in the first half of 2014 include medical devices, electronics, semiconductor machinery, gold and pharmaceuticals. Our medical device exports increased at the highest rate in years at over eight percent, and our exports of electronics and semiconductor machinery, which have experienced recent downturns, have rebounded at 40% and 6% growth, respectively. The semiannual data confirms that Massachusetts exports remain highly competitive in certain sectors – we continue to rank as the 2nd largest exporting state for both medical devices and analytical instrumentation, and we are the 3rd largest exporting state for both semiconductor machinery and seafood. In fact, Massachusetts ranked as the top exporting state for mollusks! The Census data confirms the developments that our team at the Massachusetts Export Center has observed over the past couple of years: the state’s businesses have transitioned from maintaining a “holding pattern” on their export operations to actively pursuing new export markets as economic conditions have improved both at home and abroad. The export numbers appear to be catching up to these trends. The Massachusetts Export Center provides targeted, customized export assistance services to businesses throughout the Commonwealth. We help companies assess potential export markets; establish channels and sales internationally; and navigate the complex regulatory, legal, financial and logistical aspects of the exporting process. We provide a variety of services in support of these activities, including counseling, technical assistance, market research and training. The Center is part of the state’s Small Business Development Center Network. Our team is energized by the export successes of many of our clients and the fact that 2014 marks our 20-year anniversary! We have a number of innovative programs planned in the coming months that focus on Export Control Reform, recent sanctions developments and more. We will cap off the year with our Export Expo on December 9, which is our largest and most comprehensive annual event that brings together a wide variety of resources, training and information for the state’s exporting community. Full details on our services and activities can be found at mass.gov/export.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Should Be a National Model, Writes Two Leading Business Magazines
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick) Massachusetts’ $80 million economic plan, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on August 13, 2014, is getting glowing reviews from two leading business publications, Inc. Magazine and Fortune Magazine. “Massachusetts’ economic development plan is one that other states may want to pay attention to,” writes Inc. Magazine‘s Jeremy Quittner, in “Why Massachusetts’ Plans for Economic Development Could (and Should) Blaze a Trail for Other States.” Quittner describes the state’s plan to “bolster job training in the state’s high-growth industries, provide capital to its start-ups, and support business communities outside of the traditional business thoroughfares of Boston and Cambridge.” The Massachusetts plan, outlined in The Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth “provides new tools and training to ensure the Massachusetts workforce meets the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy,” reads a statement from the Governor’s Office. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, says that the bill “provides significant new support for the Commonwealth’s economic development strategy. Ensuring the long-term economic prosperity of the Commonwealth means extending growth and opportunity to every corner of the state.” The Inc. Magazine story comes on the heels of an article in Fortune Magazine published last week and written by Karen Mills, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School. In, “How U.S. States Can Get Small Businesses Growing (Again),” Mills writes that “Massachusetts has created a model based on public-private partnership, a promising blueprint other states should follow.” She praises Massachusetts for “taking parts of the playbook for jobs and driving solutions that make sense.” Massachusetts’ ongoing economic development strategy focuses on the state’s long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and is outlined in the document, “Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.”
Massachusetts receives $27.5 million in federal grants
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick announces $27.5 million in federal funds) Photo by Kenshin Okubo Last week 54 cities and towns across Massachusetts got the good news that they’ll receive a total of $27.5 million in federal funds to support housing, rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. The funds come from the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the state’s largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects. The grants help meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities, while building and repairing infrastructure. In addition to providing important improvements to the cities and towns, the infrastructure projects also help create and maintain jobs. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects. Governor Deval Patrick made the announcement in Great Barrington, where over $800,000 will be used for housing rehabilitation and an infrastructure design project in the Housatonic Village. “When we invest in infrastructure projects in our communities, we put people to work and leave a better Commonwealth for the next generation,” said Governor Patrick. “We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their continued commitment to investing in our future.” “The beauty of the CDBG program is that towns determine the best investment in their community,” said U.S. Congressman Richard Neal, who joined Governor Patrick at the event, along with other state and local officials. The CDBG program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Among the projects eligible for funding: housing rehabilitation, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. Massachusetts has made over 350 grants totaling $265 million during the Patrick Administration. For every $1 of CDBG funds, an estimated $3.55 is leveraged in non-CDBG funding. You can find a list of this year’s CDBG awards here.
Massachusetts Convention Industry Rolls out SignatureBoston.com
(Caption: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center) Do you think Massachusetts wants your convention business? If there’s any doubt, check out the new website unveiled this week called SignatureBoston.com. It’s the latest initiative to showcase Boston’s already significant role as a major meetings destination, and its reputation for delivering exceptional service and technology to meeting professions. SignatureBoston.com is a collaborative effort between Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and the Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC), designed to promote Boston’s two convention centers, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. It will replace “Advantage Boston,” the marketing brand previously used. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says that exceeding customer expectations “is our signature. Unique and personal, a signature represents what a person stands for. In Boston, our signature is a commitment to deliver remarkable experiences, beyond our customers’ expectations.” Rooney says the signature concept extends beyond the convention centers, one that the entire city embraces. “From the minute attendees step into Logan Airport to their taxi rides, check-ins at the hotel and their experiences at local restaurants, Signature Boston is a promise that defines our city as the best city for a remarkable meetings experience.” Milt Herbert, executive director of the BCMC, says, “The launch of Signature Boston signifies that we are confident we can give our customers an experience they can’t find in any other city.” The new Signature Boston initiative coincides with the 10 year anniversary celebration for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Since opening the BCEC in June 2004, Boston has consistently ranked as a Top 10 U.S. meetings and conventions destination. In the past decade, the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center combined have hosted 2,400 events, 7.2 million attendees and generated 5.2 million hotel room nights. This activity has generated $5.3 billion in economic activity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, in 2011 the BCEC and Hynes earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.
Massachusetts Invests in its Cultural Facilities
(Caption: Lexington Historical Society Building) Massachusetts just reaffirmed its commitment to culture, education and the performing arts by awarding $14 million in grants to 81 new building projects for nonprofit arts and cultural groups, schools and communities across the Commonwealth. This latest round of awards is part of the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), which has invested nearly $70 million in the state’s creative sector in 118 cities and towns since 2007. Here is a a list of the grants . The grants help restore many of Massachusetts’ historic buildings, which in turn preserve the character of many cities and towns and lead to increased tourism. More than 15 million people visit organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund annually, with nearly one third of those visitors coming from out-of-state. Governor Deval Patrick was at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield this morning to celebrate the new awards and to speak about his strategy for growth, which is focused on education, innovation and infrastructure. “Investments in our creative economy stimulate growth and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Governor Patrick said. “Through this new round of funding, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow.” Administered jointly by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund’s goal is to increase investments from both the public sector and private sector so that cultural facilities in Massachusetts can benefit from sound planning and development. In addition to the 81 capital grants, the FY14 round of funding also includes 48 planning grants. The capital grants range from $7,000 to $600,000 and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. The creative economy is an important sector of the state’s economy, employing over 100,000 workers and generating $1 billion for Massachusetts. Last month, the Patrick Administration convened an all-day Creative Economy Summit at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, where leaders met to collaborate and to celebrate the state’s robust and enduring creative community.
Economic Development Projects Allow Companies to Expand and Add Jobs in Massachusetts
(Caption: SanDisk Corporation in Marlbourough) Here in Massachusetts, companies are growing to scale, expanding their facilities and adding jobs. Just last week, the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) held its quarterly meeting and approved 10 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These new projects are expected to create 679 new jobs and retain 699 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $642 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. Among the 10 approved projects are four manufacturing companies and four projects located in Gateway Cities like Lawrence, Springfield, New Bedford and Brockton. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development. “These investments help companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The ten companies in this round include: Aspen Technology, Inc. in Bedford MK Parcel 7 Development LLC in Boston Vicente’s Liquors and Tropical Grocery, Inc. in Brockton Kennametal, Inc. in Greenfield Asahi America, Inc. in Lawrence Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, LLC in Lee SanDisk Corporation in Marlborough Kielb Welding Enterprises, Inc. in Springfield Amasdave LLC, in Springfield Om Shri Ambika LLC in Sturbridge Here are fuller descriptions of the projects. The EDIP program was reformed in 2009 by Governor Deval Patrick and Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, and since then, it has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. Since 2009, 197 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 13,983 new jobs, the retention of 40,451 existing jobs and leveraging of over $5.4 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 106 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 91 projects in Gateway Cities. For more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Massachusetts Welcomes China
(Caption: Chinese visitors stand in front of the John Harvard statue in Cambridge.) Photo by Maria Speridakos There’s a new Silk Road coming through Massachusetts, thanks to the recent launch of Hainan Airlines’ direct air route between Boston and Beijing. Just as Marco Polo’s 14th century Silk Road opened up commerce and culture between the west and the east, this new connection between Massachusetts and China will similarly mark a new era of cooperation between two great destinations. Flight 481 landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Friday, June 20, 2014, filled with Chinese visitors, airline officials and business travelers eager to experience first-hand the state’s cultural richness, shopping, educational institutions, scenic land and seascapes, and business opportunities. And later that afternoon, Flight 482 left Logan Airport, filled with American tourists, business travelers and Chinese students returning home for the summer. During their stay in Boston, the Chinese visitors were greeted by Governor Deval Patrick and by officials from Massport, Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment and other agencies and companies that will help to develop tourism and trade partnerships in the future. MOTT Director Betsy Wall noted that 100 million new Chinese tourists will be traveling in 2015, and Massachusetts wants to capture its share of this lucrative market. MOTT, along with BrandUSA/China, took this opportunity to provide Hainan Airline officials with a familiarization tour of Greater Boston, with support from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Cambridge Office of Tourism, and local hotels and restaurants. The group toured downtown Boston and checked out Boston’s Seaport District and Innovation Center, before heading over to Cambridge, where Trademark Tours led them on a student-guided walk around Harvard University, followed by a tour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. They also visited several iconic visitor destinations in greater Boston, including Fenway Park, Wrentham Village Premium Shopping Outlets in Wrentham, the Museum of Fine Arts, Copley Place, and Assembly Row in Somerville. The Boston-Beijing route is the first non-stop flight between New England and Mainland China, and shaves off about six hours of time it used to take to get from city to city on connector flights. The Hainan schedule includes four nonstop flights a week in each direction, with daily flights being offered in the summer from July 18 through the end of August. In addition to boosting international tourism, Massachusetts officials are also looking to expand commerce and trade as a result of the new Boston-Beijing route. China is currently the 2nd largest recipient of Massachusetts exports, accounting for $2 billion a year in local goods, according to Paula Murphy, director of the Massachusetts Export Center. Another sector of potential growth lies in higher education. Massachusetts is currently the fourth largest host state for Chinese students, behind considerably larger states like California, Texas and Illinois. In 2013, there were 13,109 Chinese students studying in Massachusetts, and those numbers are likely to grow as China continues to familiarize itself with Massachusetts schools and all they have to offer. The Boston-Beijing route is the fourth new international direct air flight coming out of Logan International Airport in the past year. In July 2013, Copa Airlines launched its Boston-Panama City service, followed in Emirates Airline’s Boston-Istanbul route in March 2014, and finally Turkish Airlines’ Boston-Istanbul route in May 2014. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts builds up its global profile in life sciences
(Massachusetts Life Sciences Pavilion at the Bio 2014 Conference) Building on the Commonwealth’s robust life sciences industry and long-term strategy for growth, Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of the Universal Partnerships (UP) Program, a new initiative by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to help fund Massachusetts companies that are forming R&D collaborations with life science organizations throughout the world. The announcement came at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, where a strong delegation of scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials made the case that Massachusetts is the best place in the world to be for the life sciences industry. “We invest in the life sciences because we are choosing to shape our own future,” said Governor Patrick. “I commend the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center on creating this unique and forward-looking international collaboration.” In its first year of the UP program, the Center will award grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. An eligible project will focus on a milestone within a research & development collaboration, and will consist of one Massachusetts company and one organization outside of the United States. The organization could include a company, an academic institution, a hospital or a research institute. Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, noted, “Massachusetts is committed to seeking new models of innovation to drive future economic growth,” adding that the program “expands the footprint for collaboration across the globe.” Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President and CEO of MLSC, said the UP program “is based on our strong belief that knowledge creation occurs worldwide and global collaboration to share that knowledge will accelerate innovation and economic development.” “Collaboration is key in the life sciences, and the announcement of this new Universal Partnerships program is incredibly exciting,” said Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray. “I look forward to seeing the projects and businesses that result and their impact here and abroad.” Several of Massachusetts’ overseas trading partners – United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Japan – expressed support for the new program. “Building and maintaining international cooperation through partnerships is a high priority for the United Arab Emirates, and specifically, DuBiotech,” said Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Executive Director of DuBiotech. “The MLSC encourages worldwide collaboration in the life sciences industry, and DuBiotech, the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, is proud to be a part of it.” “One Nucleus is proud to have a highly collaborative and enjoyable relationship with Massachusetts – fuelled by a meeting with Governor Patrick in 2009 and which has seen a range of tangible activities with him, the MA Life Sciences Center and MassBIO since then for the benefit of companies on both sides of the pond. Long may it continue,” said Harriet Fear, British Business Ambassador and Chief Executive, One Nucleus. Sachiko Yoshimura, Chief Executive Director, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO LA), said, “Japanese companies and the government of Japan have extensively invested in life sciences, and most recently are intensely focused on regenerative medicine. Establishing a flourishing relationship with MLSC will surely accelerate R&D and trade, and we very much look forward to our collaboration.” JETRO, representing the government of Japan, recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment to promote business activities between the two places. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information about Universal Partnerships, visit Massachusetts Life Sciences Center or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts’ Economy Gets Creative
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick addresses the Creative Economy Summit) When it comes to the creative economy, Massachusetts gets it! With over 100,000 workers and a $1 billion statewide economic impact, the creative industries in Massachusetts are an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. Building upon this success was the focus of Massachusetts’ recent Creative Economy Summit, held on June 12 at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston. Leaders from across the state convened to network, collaborate and envision ways in which the creative and innovative economies can intersect and continue to fuel each other. The impressive turnout included experts and advocates from the performing and visual arts, digital gaming, film industry, architecture, publishing and design, alongside entrepreneurs, innovators, and government officials. The morning kicked off with a welcome by Dawn Barrett, president of Mass College of Art & Design, and an introduction by Greg Bialecki, secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, followed by Helen Fruscio, the state’s Creative Economy Industry Director. “The focus of the summit was on uniting the creative industries and ensuring interactivity among the attendees” says Fruscio. “We wanted everyone to think of new ways to cross-collaborate.” For example, the morning panel, “Future Trends of the Creative Industries,” was a seminar on cross-collaboration, with experts like Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, Panos Panay, the head of Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music, Jon Radoff, founder of Disruptor Beam and Laura Fitton of HubSpot sharing their insights. At the afternoon session, ”Creative Capital,” Jerry Bird of MassVentures, Dan Sullivan of Crowdly, Anita Brearton of Golden Seeds, Bill Warner of Avid Technology and Neil Martin of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation talked about strategies for funding and bringing creative ideas to market. The panel discussions were followed by the popular ‘unconference’ gatherings with crowd-sourced themed discussions, allowing the participants to gather into smaller groups and discuss a variety of topics. Governor Deval Patrick gave the closing remarks at the Summit, discussing how the Administration’s investments in education, innovation and infrastructure have supported innovation and the creative economy in Massachusetts. Patrick has led the way in making Massachusetts one of the nation’s most creative states. In 2007 he established the position of creative Economy Industry Director at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. He helped institute the Creative Economy Council, which develops a statewide strategy for growing the creative economy. He launched the Creative Economy Network, which tracks progress and promotes efforts to support the creative economy on the local, regional and state-wide level, and CreativeNEXT listening tour, a business development program that helps owners of small and medium-sized creative businesses quickly access resources and advice to help grow their enterprises by meeting with an expert panel. At the summit, Governor Patrick reminded participants that “Creativity is central to all that we’re trying to do,” adding, “The innovation economy is also artists, novelists and architects. It’s a source of our growth and civilization.”
Massachusetts Celebrates Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month
(Caption: Josiane Martinez, Office For Refugees and Immigrants) (Photo: Jun Tsuboike / Governor’s Office) Governor Deval Patrick celebrated Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month this week at the New American Center in Lynn where he heard first-hand accounts from local immigrants about their entrepreneurial successes in Massachusetts. “Our immigrant communities have always been an integral part of our state’s economic and cultural fabric,” Governor Patrick told the audience. “I am proud to recognize the hard work of our immigrant entrepreneurs who have made Massachusetts home, and whose achievements help keep us in the leadership business.” Immigrants in Massachusetts have many notable accomplishments of which to be proud. 17.5% of the state’s business owners are immigrants, and they generate $2.8 billion in income for Massachusetts each year, according to the Immigration Policy Center in Washington, DC. There are 41,248 foreign students in Massachusetts, who contribute $1.5 billion to the state’s economy in tuition, fees and living expenses, according to the NAFSA Association of International Educators. These foreign students help fuel the state’s innovation economy, since 38.7% of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates are foreign born, as are 49.1% of the state’s engineering PhDs. Immigrants co-founded over 25% of the state’s biotechnology companies, notes the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. Massachusetts ranks eighth in the nation for newcomers, with an immigrant population that represents over 14 percent of the population and nearly 18% of the state’s workforce, according to the U.S. Census. Latino and Asian-owned businesses alone employ over 50,000 Massachusetts residents, with sales of over $7 billion. In May, the Patrick Administration announced a federal grant to enhance vocational, educational and citizenship assistance to refugees and immigrants in Massachusetts. The nearly $400,000 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will place 90 AmeriCorps members across Massachusetts to provide training and support to 5,000 refugees and immigrants over the next three years. The Governor’s proposed Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity bill before the Massachusetts legislature has two key elements that would support the immigrant community. One is an investment in workforce tools and training in Gateway Cities as a way to stimulate the economy. The other is the Global Entrepreneur Residence Program, which would allow qualified, highly skilled, international students currently in Massachusetts to stay here after graduation if they are starting or growing a business. The Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants is a good place to start to find out more about what the Commonwealth is doing to promote full participation of refugees and immigrants as self-sufficient individuals and families in the economic, social and civic life of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts’ Sandbox Summit – Entrepreneurship for All
(Caption: Desh Deshpande, founder of Merrimack Valley Sandbox) How do we foster the next generation of entrepreneurs in Massachusetts? One sure way is to bring budding entrepreneurs together with seasoned entrepreneurs, business executives, government officials and academic leaders who are willing to share expertise, insights and encouragement about what it takes to thrive in the state’s robust innovation community. Such was the setting at the second annual Merrimack Valley Sandbox Summit in Lowell this week, an inspiring gathering of creative thinkers, generous mentors and willing collaborators who are working to bring their ideas to market, thereby spurring economic growth at local and regional levels. Over 250 people attended the two-day summit, held at University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Keynote speakers included Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts; Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, founder of the Deshpande Foundation and the Merrimack Valley Sandbox; Akhil Nigam, founder and president of MassChallenge; and Poonam Ahluwalia, executive director of Youth Trade and YES Campaign. Governor Patrick said that expanding opportunity for everyone across the state was a key to economic growth. By focusing on state investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, the Patrick Administration has a deliberate strategy to stimulate growth. “As I see it, growth is a choice…not something we leave to chance, not simply something we hope for, it’s something we work for and choose to bring about,” Patrick said. “Entrepreneurship isn’t just technology – it is creative problem solving in context,” said Deshpande, a theme that echoed throughout the summit as speakers and participants agreed that entrepreneurial opportunities were to be found in all sectors of society and industry. This year’s theme was “Entrepreneurship for All,” which Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki described as “a robust strategy for how we grow the Commonwealth’s economy. Programs like the Merrimack Valley Sandbox are bringing people together focused on choosing growth and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s innovation industry for generations to come.” A highlight of the summit was the pitch contests, which featured the region’s top entrepreneurs squaring off against each other for a chance to win cash prizes to fuel their work. Participants said the summit was an ideal opportunity for like-minded individuals to gather and share information, ideas and encouragement in a room full of other focused, creative, problem-solving people. “Massachusetts prides itself on our collaborative approach to economic development, an effort led by the Patrick Administration and the Legislature,” said Patrick Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech Collaborative. “That spirit of cooperation and inclusion is fully on display here today.” “Entrepreneurship can be lonely,” David Parker, Sandbox’s executive director, told the Lowell Sun. “It’s important for people to come together, share ideas, meet each other and look for resources.” The Sandbox Summit was organized by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, with sponsorship support from the Deshpande Foundation and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Massachusetts & Israel Collaborate on Innovation Economy
This past week, Governor Deval Patrick led an Innovation Partnership Mission to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and Israel for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy sectors. On Tuesday, May 27, Governor Patrick joined MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne to announce the 2014 MassChallenge Israel startup accelerator competition finalists. The ten finalists include two startups in high-tech, five in health care and the life sciences, two in food-tech and one in the general category. MassChallenge Israel launched in February 2014; it is the first official MassChallenge program based outside of Boston. “Massachusetts is home to an amazing array of startups and our entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the strongest in the Nation,” said Governor Patrick. “Through programs like MassChallenge, Massachusetts is able to extend an open invitation for the world’s highest-impact, highest-potential startups to grow their ideas in our Commonwealth.” MassChallenge awards over $1 million in cash prizes to winning startups, with zero equity taken. Additional benefits for startups include world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media and over $15 million of in-kind support. The accelerator is the first of its kind to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. “Hundreds of Israeli-founded companies call Massachusetts home and that number is steadily increasing thanks to the robust, innovative and welcoming communities in Massachusetts and Israel,” said Harthorne. “At MassChallenge we have seen dozens of remarkable startups from Israel working in all sectors of technology. We are proud to be a close partner for Israel and we are proud of the great community in Massachusetts.” The MassChallenge Israel program and the anticipated MassChallenge UK program, set to launch in December 2014, furthers the Patrick Administration’s efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth’s global economic partnerships by enabling top-tier startups access to global markets by connecting them with the very best resources and organizations in Boston’s entrepreneurial network. Now in its fifth year, the MassChallenge competition based in Boston has supported 489 startups, created more than 4,000 new jobs and raised $550 million in outside funding and generated $350 million in revenue. In 2014, MassChallenge received over 1,600 applications from 50 countries and 41 states. In support of the accelerators, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Massachusetts Clean Energy have provided funding totaling $1.2 million. Also during the trip, Governor Patrick and members of the Innovation Partnership Mission met with chief executive officers from Israeli life sciences companies to discuss opportunities to create and grow their business in Massachusetts. The panel discussed the impact of the 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative that the Governor signed into law in 2008, and the role that the Initiative has played in making Massachusetts a global leader in the life sciences. Since 2008, the Center has invested or committed more than $530 million, leveraged over $1.5 billion in third party investment, and created thousands of jobs across the state. Last year, a report by the New England-Israel Business Council underscored the impact of Israeli-founded companies on the Massachusetts economy that has grown significantly in recent years, following the Governor’s 2011 mission to Israel. According to that study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked $6.2 billion in revenue in the state in 2012 and employed nearly 6,700 people. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is five times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. From Israel, the Innovation Partnership Mission is heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore economic opportunities there, in the wake of the new direct air service Emirates Airlines between Dubai and Boston, which opened in March 2014.
(Caption: Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center) By Alex Morse and Greg Bialecki As the nation’s first planned industrial city, Holyoke became a thriving paper and textile manufacturing center powered by the Connecticut River. Like many New England mill towns, the city entered a period of economic hardship during the 1970s and 1980s with the relocation of many textile and manufacturing businesses. Today, city and state officials are joining research universities, local business leaders,and worldwide technology companies to work together to revitalize Holyoke into a city of innovation, entrepreneurship and modern, environmentally-friendly urban living. A central component of this work is the development of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and the Holyoke Innovation District — a public-private strategy to make Holyoke a major player in the state’s thriving innovation economy. The product of an unprecedented collaboration among five world-renowned research institutions (MIT, University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and Harvard University), the MGHPCC provides world-class computational infrastructure that is vital to both the universities and the state’s innovation economy, bringing opportunities for collaborative research on some of the biggest issues facing engineering, science and society. The $90 million data center was supported by investment from these universities, which was supplemented by a grant from the state to establish the project on a downtown brownfields site, where it would have the greatest economic impact. In addition, two of the Commonwealth’s largest technology employers, EMC and Cisco Systems, provided their support. Local government, business and education leaders and the Patrick administration have since continued the work with the launch of the Holyoke Innovation District, a public-private effort focused on upgrading infrastructure and transportation, expanding opportunities for new careers through workforce training and education, and leveraging the existing talent in Holyoke by supporting entrepreneurship from within the Holyoke community. Just a few of the notable successes of the Innovation District strategy include: new passenger train service in Holyoke scheduled to start later this year; new private investment such as Gateway City Arts; and, an award from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge to support SPARK, a community entrepreneurship program in the Holyoke Innovation District. The efforts from the state and the city are attracting entrepreneurial businesses that are already bringing new life downtown. New additions include VertitechIT, a fast growing IT and communications infrastructure company with national reach, Simple Diaper & Linen, a company started by two mothers that uses a chemical-free cleaning process, and Gateway City Arts, an incubator for all types of creative businesses. While there is plenty of work still to be done, Holyoke continues to demonstrate that collaboration among political, business ,and academic leaders, combined with imagination, discipline and perseverance, will overcome the most troubling economic challenges we face as a community. *** Alex Morse is the mayor of Holyoke. Greg Bialecki is the state’s Housing and Economic Development secretary. (This article originally appeared in The Boston Globe on May 29,2014.)
LegoLand Discovery Center Opens in Somerville Today
(Caption: Iconic Landmarks of Boston, made with 3 million lego bricks) Photo courtesy of MOTT, Phyllis M. Cahaly If you build it, they will come, so they can build something too! That’s the expectation of the LegoLand Discovery Center in Massachusetts, which opens today in the new Assembly Row complex in Somerville. Expect to see lots of families and earnest young builders descending on the new Center in the coming months, to hone their building skills and to have a lot of fun! Hailed as the company’s largest LegoLand Discovery Center in the world, it is the sixth center to open in North America, and already tickets are going fast. The buzz started in January when Lego officials held a two day competition at the Boston Public Library to find the best lego builder. Over 100 competitors participated, and the ultimate winner was Ian Coffey of Albany, now the newly hired Master Model Builder at the Somerville store! The new center has great educational and tourism value, according to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, as group tours and school classes begin to discover it in the months ahead. The LegoLand Discovery Center is part of a much larger and exciting building project called Assembly Row in Somerville. The $1.36 billion transit-oriented development of 56.2 acres can accommodate 1.75 million square feet of office space, 852,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants and a cinema, a 200 room hotel, and 2,100 new residential units. In addition, Partners HealthCare is moving 4,500 employees into a new office building in 2016. The Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, which oversees the state’s economic development plan,has committed $27.5 million in funding to Assembly Row through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. The funds support construction of a new MBTA Orange Line station and infrastructure needed to complete this development. These types of economic development projects are part of the state’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure. Empowering regions is part of the economic development plan too, and EOHED works closely with local municipal and regional leaders to ensure that they have the means to attract and encourage business investment and job creation. Last year, EOHED launched the MetroNorth Initiative, a consortium of ten Greater Boston communities that include Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop, plus two Boston neighborhoods, Charlestown and East Boston. These are communities where businesses settle and where people live, work and play, and therefore have enormous potential for smart and dynamic growth. For more information about Massachusetts’ economic development plan, go to Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century,
Masachūsettsu-shū e yōkoso!
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Yuji Kuroiwa at the Massachusetts State House) As part of the state’s robust global engagement strategy, Massachusetts has strengthened its economic relationship with Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture this month. Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Yuji Kuroiwa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 7, 2014 that enhances economic activity between Massachusetts and Kanagawa, while increasing academic exchanges and business collaborations between the two centers of innovation. The MOU is the product of the Massachusetts-Japan Innovation Partnership Mission in December 2013, during which Governor Patrick met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Governor Kuroiwa and other Japanese officials. The MOU will usher in a new era of collaboration in the innovation economy with a focus on growing jobs and opportunities in the areas of life sciences, big data, clean energy, robotics and healthcare information technology. “This agreement will foster new commercial partnerships in the vital innovation industries in both Massachusetts and Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Governor Patrick. “That’s how we grow jobs and opportunity in today’s global economy.” “Today, we are taking another step to ensure that Massachusetts remains an active player in the 21st century global economy,” said Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through this increased collaboration, we are strengthening our ties abroad and expanding the reach of our innovation industries.” “We are extremely pleased that our mission to Japan has resulted in this important agreement with Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment Director Richard Elam. “This international collaboration offers the world the best of Japan’s and America’s life sciences and broader innovation technologies.” Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are among the state agencies involved in this initiative. Longstanding Cultural Ties Massachusetts and Japan have longstanding ties dating back nearly a century. The Japan Society of Boston was created in 1920 to strengthen friendship and cultural, business and international relations. Since then the society has honored emissaries who exemplify this friendship. Just last week, the society honored Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, at its annual dinner. Diane’s mother, Teruko Uchida, was born in Japan, and she met Diane’s father, Laurence Paulus, in Tokyo. The Japanese have played prominent cultural roles in the life of Massachusetts. One of the world’s great maestros, Seiji Ozawa, was conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 2002, the longest-serving music director in the orchestra’s illustrious history. The orchestra performed in Tokyo on May 8-10, 2014, as part of its tour to China and Japan. Since 1980, the world-renowned Koyo Conservatory of Music has been part of the Berklee International Network and sends many of its best students to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The school’s connection to Japan goes back to 1956, when acclaimed pianist and NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi was the first Japanese musician to win a scholarship to the college. The Massachusetts-Japan relationship was strengthened in 1959 when Kyoto became Boston’s first sister city. And in 1987, New Bedford/Fairhaven, in southeast Massachusetts, formed a sister city agreement with Tosashimizu, Japan, in honor of Manjiro Nakahama, a young Japanese fisherman who lived in Fairhaven in the 19th century. More recently, some of Japan’s finest pitchers – from Daisuke Matsuzaka to Koji Uehara - have contributed to the great success of the Boston Red Sox, forging an international fan base. In 2011, the Red Sox Foundation donated $50,000 to relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. In November 2013, the Massachusetts-Japan relationship deepened further when Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Ambassador Kennedy held a reception for Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts trade delegation in December. Trade & Travel Partners Today, the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston is active in representing Japan throughout New England. More than 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and approximately 13,000 Japanese nationals have made Massachusetts their home. In 2013, Japan was Massachusetts’ fifth largest export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.762 billion in goods and services, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. In 2012, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced the first non-stop flight between Boston and Tokyo (Narita), linking Massachusetts and Japan via Japan Airlines (JAL). Since the commencement of service, the flight has grown in popularity and continues to deepen the connections between the Commonwealth and Japan. Japan is one of six key global markets actively promoted by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, which has a tourism website in Japanese for tourists who want to visit Massachusetts. In 2012, 70,000 Japanese visitors came to Massachusetts, spending $108 million and generating $7 million in state and local taxes. In the months ahead, the Massachusetts-Japan connection will flourish on the fashion front, too. Uniqlo, one of Japan’s most popular clothing brands, just announced that it is launching a pop-up store in Boston this summer, followed by six permanent locations in Massachusetts in the coming year. To all of our Japanese friends, visitors and business partners, Masachūsettsu-shū e yōkoso (Welcome to Massachusetts).
Massachusetts Expands Collaborative Workspaces
(Photo: Greentown Labs in Somerville) Every place you turn, collaborative workspaces are cropping up in Massachusetts, drawing together innovators, entrepreneurs and creative types seeking affordable space, partnering and mentoring opportunities, and just pure inspiration. These workspaces are being hailed as a viable and practical way for individuals, small business and daring thinkers to flourish in an open environment where creative collaboration yields positive results. Massachusetts is at the forefront of encouraging these workspaces, says Helena Fruscio, head of Creative Industries, which is part of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. Just this week, Fruscio and her colleagues staged a kick-off event at two collaborative workspaces in Somerville: the Artisan’s Asylum, a 25,000 square foot cluster of physical/manufacturing entrepreneurs, and Greentown Labs, a 24,000 square foot space for the growing community of energy and cleaning technology entrepreneurs. EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki attended, and expressed Governor Deval Patrick’s support of expanding these workspaces, as stated in the Governor’s bill, An Act to Promote Growth & Opportunity, currently before the legislature. For example, collaborative workspaces would be an ideal solution in many Gateway Cities, where officials believe underutilized buildings could house innovative and creative clusters that stimulate economic growth and help to transform these older cities. The Somerville event kicked off a series of three workshops across the state this month for prospective developers, operators, funders and public officials: Central Massachusetts Thursday, May 8 9:00 a.m. – Noon Becker College Borger Academic Center 9 Washburn Square Leicester Eastern Massachusetts Tuesday, May 13 9:00 a.m. – Noon Quincy Chamber of Commerce 180 Old Colony Avenue Quincy Western Massachusetts Thursday, May 15 9:00 a.m. – Noon Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 100 Bigelow Street Holyoke For more information about the training series, or to get involved in collaborative workspaces, contact Helena Fruscio at Helena.email@example.com or 617 788-3602.
Governor Patrick Announces Funding to Complete UMass Center at Springfield
Governor Deval Patrick today announced $5.2 million in funding to complete the construction and furnishings for the University of Massachusetts’ new UMass Center at Springfield, located at Tower Square, downtown Springfield. The grant – funded through the FY2014 capital plan – will help UMass ensure completion of construction in time for the fall 2014 semester. “This new Center will provide vital education and skills training resources in downtown Springfield, and open up new educational and job opportunities for the residents of Springfield and beyond,” Governor Patrick said. UMass President Robert L. Caret said the new Center “is not only an educational collaboration but also an economic initiative, a downtown revitalization initiative, while at its core an investment in people’s lives and their futures.” The project is part of Governor Patrick’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure as the way to grow the Massachusetts economy and create opportunities for all of its citizens. That strategy is outlined in the economic development plan, Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century. Located in the heart of Springfield’s downtown district, the 26,000 square-foot facility is two blocks from City Hall and the MassMutual Center. It will significantly expand the University’s presence in western Massachusetts and introduce degree opportunities to students of all ages that will be tailored to the meet the region’s workforce needs. “Skilled workers, especially in growing industries like IT and advanced manufacturing, are critical to Springfield’s economic development,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “The new UMass Center at Springfield will partner with MassMutual, Baystate Health Systems and Springfield residents to expand opportunity in the city.” The Center will also give access to students who are taking UMass courses online. The center is comprised of ten large, instructional rooms, including three nursing classrooms, one computer lab, two conference rooms, seven small meeting rooms, and space for student counseling and public events and meetings. UMass plans to open the Center with classes by faculty from the four undergrad UMass campuses, in partnership with Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College. The Center is scheduled to fully open at the end of August, in time for the fall 2014 semester, but the university has already opened a Welcome Center on the first floor of Tower Square where prospective students can find information about the fall courses.
MassEcon Welcomes 18 Companies to Massachusetts
(Caption: Honorees at the 2014 MassEcon Reception at the Genzyme Center in Cambridge) By Susan Houston The sixth annual Corporate Welcome Reception, held on April 16, 2014 at the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, was MassEcon’s way of saying thank you and welcome to 18 diverse companies that have recently chosen to locate in Massachusetts from across the country and across the globe. The event recognized companies from a variety of industries, including life sciences, technology, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing, who have put down roots in all regions of the state, creating more than 600 jobs in the process. “We know that the world is a very flat place, filled with all kinds of innovative and entrepreneurial people, and when their businesses grow to a point that they’re becoming global businesses, we want them to think about Massachusetts as one of the places where they are going to be,” said EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki, featured guest at the event. The diverse group of companies recognized at this year’s event include: Attend.com of Boston; BAUM Retec of Methuen; CareCloud of Boston; Cryogenetics of Woburn; Cybereason of Cambridge; Emirates Airline of Boston; EthoSolar of Marlborough; Facebook of Cambridge; Great Wolf Resorts of Fitchburg; Jabil/Nypro of Clinton; Labminds of Boston; McGraw-Hill of Boston; Menck of Chicopee; RapidMiner of Cambridge; Synacor of Westford; Velesco Pharma of Quincy; WeWork of Boston; and Wisetek of Franklin. Each company considered a variety of factors when looking for its new location, and for one reason or another, all settled on Massachusetts. “We looked at a few different options but Boston was quite unique,” said Joe Sawyer, VP of Marketing for Carecloud, which is headquartered in Miami and recently established an office in Boston. “Some cities have large healthcare industries and some cities have large technology industries, but really, only Boston has a large and thriving healthcare technology industry. So we felt that in terms of both the talent and the ecosystem, this was the place to be.” “Our initial market focus was going to be the Northeast, and Western Massachusetts was just an ideal location because there’s so much within a few hundred miles of where we are in Chicopee in terms of both opportunities and population,” said Todd Bachelder of Menck Windows, a German-based company that recently established its US manufacturing facility in Chicopee. “In addition to that, in the greater Springfield area you’ve got a history of manufacturing and in the greater Pioneer Valley you have a wonderful educational infrastructure that really should help us to find the folks we’re looking to employ.” A key goal of MassEcon’s annual event is to introduce new companies to the rich Massachusetts network, and that is something event-host Genzyme has experienced and benefited from first-hand. “Genzyme has developed its success through its own strengths, but Genzyme would be nothing without all the collaborations that were developed over the past 30 years,” said the company’s CFO Marc Esteva. “Just to learn what other people are doing and getting inspired by (it)….that’s worth being here already,” said Ingo Mierswa, CEO of RapidMiner. Special thanks to host Genzyme and sponsor WinterWyman for their role in what was a very memorable evening. Please check out the photos and videos from the event, and contact us if you’d like to find out more about MassEcon. Susan Houston is the executive director of MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Worcester, April 29
(Caption: Images courtesy of Massachusetts Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing) By Eric Nakajima Massachusetts is at the cutting-edge of advanced manufacturing, as we continue to lead the nation in growing a 21st century advanced manufacturing sector. In an effort to ensure that we remain at the forefront of growing this sector, we are excited to host our second annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit on Tuesday, April 29 at the DCU Center in Worcester. This collaborative event brings together hundreds of leading executives and managers from the manufacturing industry to share best practices, network, and discuss opportunities and challenges. It also allows us the opportunity to reflect on the significant progress that has been made over the past year. Here in Massachusetts the advanced manufacturing sector has grown more than 50 percent faster than anywhere else in the country. We have worked very hard to earn this, and now we must work even harder to keep growing that number. Advanced manufacturing is a critical part of our strategy to create jobs and drive long-term economic development. Today’s advanced manufacturers offer good-paying, high-skilled jobs that build careers that can last. Last year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy (AMRPA) to help our region’s leading educators, businesses and workforce experts build 21st century educational programs to connect qualified workers to high-growth companies across the state. The entrepreneurial and innovative spirit inspired by these partnerships throughout the Commonwealth is driving this industry forward. We are thrilled that many of these very leaders and company representatives will offer their advice and share their success stories at our summit. We are honored to have distinguished speakers lead our workshops and panels, and we look forward to hearing from Governor Patrick; Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development; Timothy Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce; Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment; Michael Detarando, President and CEO of INCOM, Inc.; Michael Tamasi, CEO of AccuRounds; Harry Moser, Founder of the Reshoring Initiative, and many others. Eric Nakajima is Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ADD NEW JOBS IN MASSACHUSETTS
(Caption: The Great Wolf Lodge of New England, located in Fitchburg, is adding 200 new jobs) The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) had its quarterly meeting recently and approved 12 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 638 new jobs and retain 851 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $155 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. Among the 12 approved projects are 3 manufacturing companies and 5 projects located in Gateway Cities. Three of the projects are hotels, and will positively impact the state’s tourism industry. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Office of Business Development Executive Director Michael Hunter. “These investments will help these companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the program and, as a result, the EDIP has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. Since these changes, 187 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 13,304 new jobs, the retention of 39,752 existing jobs and leveraging of over $4.8 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 102 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 87 projects in Gateway Cities. Here is a description of the 12 winning projects. Fore more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Pax East 2014 – Future of Gaming is Now
Digital gaming is big business. If you need reassurance on this point, then consider PAX East 2014, which took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center over the weekend of April 11-13, 2014. Over 70,000 people attended the three-day show, not just from Massachusetts and New England, but from across North America and indeed, from around the world. Forbes Magazine notes that the coveted three-day passes sold out in less than three minutes! The convention center occasionally looked like a movie set as thousands of participants arrived in elaborate costumes from their favorite video games. Superheroes and fantasy characters blended in with thousands of students, young professionals, gaming designers and industry executives, all there to watch, learn, share, compete, and partake in this massive celebration of games. Massachusetts has a stake in the $67 billion gaming industry, says Helena Fruscio, director of Creative Industries, a state-wide initiative to tap into the growing sector of creative arts blossoming across the Commonwealth. As part of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, Fruscio’s job is to identify, unify and strengthen all of the creative industries in Massachusetts, from performing arts and filmmaking to publishing and digital games. This year, 38 Massachusetts companies exhibited at the show, said Tim Loew, executive director of Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). The state-designated organization stimulates collaborative efforts among academia, entrepreneurs, state government and the gaming industry while promoting Massachusetts as a place well-positioned for growth in this burgeoning field. Loew said the MassDigi booth bustled all weekend. “We had drop-in mentoring for aspiring game developers of all ages, game demos from local companies Little Worlds Interactive, gameblyr, Moonshot Games and Catlateral Damage, area college and university students, special international friends in the Swiss Gaming Corner from swissnex Boston and more,” he said. PAX East 2014 wasn’t just about game-playing; there were nearly 200 panel discussions, ranging from “Land My Job! Inside Advice in Getting into the Game Industry,” to “The Sports Video Game Crisis.” And a number of universities – including Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Becker College, Fitchburg State University and other schools – were on hand to discuss their digital gaming courses and programs. One educational program that attracted attention was MassDiGI’s Summer Innovation Program (SIP), a twelve-week long paid internship of interest to college and university students from around the country who are studying game development. “Students work on teams, under the guidance of professional game industry producers and mentors with the objective of publishing a game,” Loew says about the highly competitive internships. “This year SIP received applications from 31 different academic institutions.” Massachusetts ranks in the top five most creative and innovative clusters of game developers in the country, Loew reckons. “With over 125 studios across the Commonwealth, Massachusetts game developers are building games for smartphones and tablets, personal computers and consoles, and for entertainment as well as education and other markets. And, with more people across the world playing more games on more devices than ever before, Massachusetts game developers are well-positioned for growth.”
Cheers to National Beer Day in Massachusetts
Today is National Beer Day across America. That is good news for beer lovers everywhere, but particularly here in Massachusetts, thanks to our robust, localized industry of craft beer makers. It turns out Massachusetts is the eighth largest exporting state for beer, according to Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center. And our exports are growing. Our total export value in 2013 was $14.2 million, Murphy says, which represents a 113% jump over 2012. New craft brewers have been cropping up in all regions of the state, which led to the creation of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild in 2007, a non-profit group that promotes the art of craft brewing. The Guild has just issued a Massachusetts Craft Brewers Trail, which is available for free at visitor centers around the state. The map lists 65 companies across the state, with many of the breweries offering tours of their plants. Craft brewing is part of a localized, do it yourself movement gaining traction around the world, with an emphasis on local produce and home-grown ingredients. The Craft Brewers Trail brochures says that “Many of these world-class breweries feature ingredients from Massachusetts, such as locally grown and malted grains, fresh hops, and indigenous yeast strains.” The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, which promotes the state’s many culinary assets, also has a handy list of craft breweries across the state, alongside other interesting categories like Wineries, Farmers Markets, Sports Bars and Distilleries! How did National Beer Day come to be, you’re wondering? April 7, 1933 was the day that President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Cullen-Harrison Act, which essentially lifted thirteen years of alcohol prohibition in the United States. If you want to find out more about craft beer, then attend the American Craft Beer Fest, taking place May 30-31, 2014 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, and the Mass Brewers Guild Fest on August 29, 2014, also at Boston’s World Trade Center. Find out more about locally produced products at MassGrown, and to learn more about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. Cheers!
Massachusetts Hosts Economic Development Summit on April 10
Greg Bialecki, secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, has invited leaders from business, government and academia to convene this Thursday, April 10, 2014, for Massachusetts’ annual economic development summit. Over 200 participants are attending the all-day event at the Newton Marriott Hotel, including a cross-section of business leaders, state and municipal officials and global thinkers who have helped strengthen Massachusetts’ reputation as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. The summit is an outgrowth of Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, the state’s central organizing framework for measuring its economic development activities. This comprehensive plan, initiated by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2010, builds upon Governor Deval Patrick ’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and focuses on five broad categories for action, along with 55 specific action steps. These five categories include Building Talent, Innovation Economy, Empowering Regions, Ease of Doing Business and Cost Competitiveness. Bialecki stresses “collaboration and strategic planning” as key ingredients for sustainable economic growth in the future, so much of the discussion will focus on state initiatives that meet these criteria. Examples include developing advanced manufacturing partnerships and middle-skills training in community colleges; creating innovation ecosystems to spawn startups; strengthening housing, job and educational opportunities across the entire state; and enacting ways to improve cost competitiveness while making it easy to do business in Massachusetts. Here is an online version of the brochure, and of the program and panelist biographies. For more information on the economic development summit, contact ChooseToCompete@state.ma.us. For an ongoing look at the state’s progress, visit Mass.gov/compete.
Agriculture Day at the Massachusetts State House
Caption: Mural on City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain, Boston The State House got a genuine Taste of Massachusetts this week as farmers from around the Commonwealth came to celebrate Agriculture Day, an annual event that showcases the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in-state, while giving farmers an occasion to educate public officials about issues affecting their industry. The event was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and other organizations. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and apple pies to cheese, honey and milk shakes. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. Governor Deval Patrick spoke to the assembly and presented the group with a proclamation declaring March 26, 2014 at Massachusetts Architecture Day. In turn, the farmers presented the governor with an award in recognition of his support of their issues over the years. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 520,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,700 farms, employing 12,000 works, according to Richard Sullivan, secretary of Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs. Greg Watson, Commissioner of Department of Agricultural Resources, said that “The reliance on our agricultural community to meet the increasing demand for local products continues to grow as the Buy Local movement expands.” Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state exported more than $914 million of food and agricultural items in 2013. “Massachusetts is the nation’s number one exporter of scallops and the number three exporter of seafood,” Murphy adds. “And we are the nation’s number one exporter of cranberry juice.” In fact, culinary tourism is yet another reason to visit the state. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including a culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs. For other farm produce information, check out the Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands , and this Mass Grown Map of farm products, specialty foods and fun agricultural activities throughout the state. Here is a list of farmers’ markets, but if you can’t wait till summer, check out these 40 winter farmers’ markets.
Worcester Technical High School – the School that Works
Worcester Technical High School has been getting a lot of accolades recently and for good reason. A recent story in The Boston Globe, titled, “Worcester a model for Boston’s only vocational school,” noted that Worcester Tech, “among the country’s best schools, with about 98 percent of its 1,400 students graduating in four years, and about 60 percent going on to college,” is a model that other vocational schools, like Madison Park High School in Boston, can replicate. A reason for Worcester’s success, says the Globe, is because “the community at large, including businesses, higher education and non-profits, made the school a shared cause.” Another reason for its success is Dr. Sheila Harrity, who became principal in 2006 and is credited, along with community leaders, with helping to turn the school around. Dr. Harrity’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2013, she was named Massachusetts Principal of the Year, and the U.S. Department of Education named Worcester Tech the National Blue Ribbon School for Outstanding Student Achievement. Then last fall, Harrity was named the 2014 National High School Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She became the first Massachusetts principal to win the award. There’s more good news for Worchester Tech. On June 11, 2014, President Barack Obama is attending the school’s graduation to deliver the main speech, which is being held at the DCU Center. The school is honored by the president’s visit, said Dr. Harrity in a prepared statement, “As a pre-eminent leader and advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE), the president’s work and commitment to promoting equality of opportunity for all, will inspire the class of 2014.” Building middle skills educational programs for Massachusetts students who aren’t necessarily going on to a four-year college is one of the priorities of the Patrick Administration. The Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has been creating collaborative regional partnerships with employers, educators, workforce development specialists and schools to develop middle skills jobs in advanced manufacturing and other areas. Dr. Harrity is one of the speakers at the state’s economic development summit, Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, on April 10, 2014. The all-day summit brings together leaders from throughout Massachusetts to discuss the Commonwealth’s economic development strategy for long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure.
Massachusetts – A Seafood Paradise
(Caption: Port of New Bedford) Earlier this month 35 of the world’s leading seafood buyers journeyed to New Bedford, to spend a day at one of the world’s great fishing ports. They attended the Whaling City Seafood Auction, toured three local seafood processing companies and met with seafood industries leaders as well as New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. The buyers came from Belgium, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The visit was organized by the Food Export USA, a non-profit export promotion group, and Massachusetts Export Center, which has been organizing this yearly visit for a decade now, in the wake of the international seafood exposition that takes place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston’s Seaport District each March. The Mass Export Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network “It is really exciting to mark the tenth anniversary of this effort,” says Nancy Lowd of the Export Center. “Seafood is one of the most important exports from Massachusetts and New Bedford is once again our nation’s largest fishing port by catch value.” “The tour of New Bedford seafood operations is the highlight of the trip for buyers, and is instrumental in clinching business deals,” said Coleen Coyne, Seafood Program Coordinator for Food Export USA. “Last year’s mission resulted in more than $22 million in exports of seafood.” Afterwards the international visitors took a boat tour around New Bedford’s working harbor, where they got to appreciate the rich heritage of the city’s maritime traditions. New Bedford is surely the world’s most famous whaling era seaport – thanks to the writings of Herman Melville and others – and now New Bedford Port has become the number one commercial fishing port in America, especially for scallops. “Scallops make up an estimated 80 percent of the $411 million in landings in 2012, and the fishing industry as a whole generates some $1 billion a year in economic activity,” notes The Boston Globe. The fishing industry has long been an important part of the Massachusetts economy; witness the five foot ‘sacred cod’ that has been hanging in the Massachusetts House of Representative Chambers since 1784. Massachusetts and seafood continue to be intertwined. Seafood Expo North America, held each year at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, is the largest seafood trade event in North America, drawing 1,090 exhibitors from 47 countries to showcase their products. “The Seafood Show has continued to grow over the years in Boston to become the largest seafood expo in North America,” said James E. Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “We are proud to see the positive economic impact that the show has on Boston, and the reputation it has around the world as being a go-to marketplace for seafood and seafood processing.” At the same time, state leaders are setting up a Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program to help promote the state’s seafood industry, and to encourage residents to buy local products. To find out more about New Bedford and business opportunities there, visit the Massachusetts Office of Business Development or the New Bedford Economic Development Council.
Supporting Growth Throughout Massachusetts
(Caption: MassWorks is funding roadway, pedestrian and bikeway improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough.) By Greg Bialecki The Patrick Administration has consistently championed the notion that we must invest our state dollars in ways that will support growth and opportunity not only today but also for generations to come. By partnering with cities and towns, we continue to invest in infrastructure, supporting job creation, economic development, and new housing in every region of the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick and I have worked closely with municipalities to provide a range of tools to create jobs and revitalize communities by creating neighborhoods where people can live, work and play. This work includes Governor Patrick’s ambitious goal of 10,000 new multi-family housing starts per year, so that families can afford to live in and grow in Massachusetts. It includes strategic investments in industries with high growth potential so that Massachusetts residents can access high quality jobs. And, it includes a partnership with local and regional governments so that we can plan for growth, and achieve it. In 2010, the Patrick administration consolidated a variety of economic development and infrastructure programs to create the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, an important resource that helps our communities improve local infrastructure to attract new jobs and spur local development. Building on the success of the 68 projects in the first two rounds, we recently announced that 33 communities will receive grant funding totaling over $79 million, after receiving 108 applications for more than $263 million in infrastructure requests. Over 80 percent of this year’s funding will support mixed use development and will help create approximately 2,500 new housing units for our residents. The most significant impact of the MassWorks Program is not the asphalt that will be laid or the sewer pipe that will be run. Through this program, we have witnessed major projects across the state experience significant progress, creating immediate construction jobs, leveraging private investment and spurring regional development and job creation. MassWorks prioritizes projects in Gateway Cities and, in keeping with Governor Patrick’s commitment to be a strong partner to local government, funding is prioritized for communities that have planned ahead for new mixed-use multi-family housing and commercial growth. Through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, the Patrick Administration partners with local communities and helps municipalities make targeted investments in infrastructure such as roadways, streetscapes, water and sewer to facilitate and support new and sustained housing and economic growth throughout the state. The first competitive MassWorks grant round was held in September 2011 and awarded $63.5 million in grants to 42 communities throughout Massachusetts. Under the second round of grants in 2012, the Administration approved 26 projects totaling $38.5 million. Including this year’s awards, over $181 million in grants has been awarded. We remain committed to working with local communities, employers, and residents to help identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development. And we will continue partnering with municipalities across the state and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote growth in every region of the Commonwealth. Greg Bialecki is the Housing and Economic Development Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Trade Mission to Panama and Mexico – New Alliances for Economic Growth
(Caption: Copa Airlines Launch at Logan International Airport in July 2013) Trade, technology and tourism are on the agenda for Governor Deval Patrick, who leads an innovation trade mission to Panama and Mexico on March 17-March 22, 2014 with a delegation of business leaders and state officials. The mission is part of an assertive global outreach Massachusetts has undertaken to form alliances with like-minded nations that share a common strategy for economic growth. In Massachusetts, that strategy centers on investing in innovation, education and infrastructure. Governor Patrick notes that Latin American business and government leaders “are eager to collaborate with us because they recognize that Massachusetts is an innovation hub with a disciplined strategy for growth.” In Panama, a country whose growth strategy is focused on science, Massachusetts officials are meeting with Panama’s Minister of Science and innovation leaders in Panama City. Massachusetts and Panama already share a strong relationship, thanks to the Copa Airlines direct route between Boston and Panama City that Massport launched in July 2013. That new route connects Massachusetts to 55 other Latin American destinations, opening up new portals to do business in one of the world’s emerging markets. The Mass Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has held workshops for the tourism industry to help position Massachusetts in this emerging market. The Massachusetts-Panama connection could get even more stronger in the months ahead: the Panama Canal is currently undergoing an expansion that could potentially double the inputs and outputs through the Conley Container Terminal in South Boston. In Mexico, the Massachusetts delegation is meeting with leaders in clean energy, big data, life sciences and transportation sectors, to share best practices and discuss business opportunities. Massachusetts and Mexico are already significant trading partners. In 2013, Massachusetts exported $1.86 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, and imported $3.37 billion from Mexico. Massachusetts’ reputation as a world leader in innovation continues to grow. In February, as a prelude to the trade mission, top leaders from Mexico’s innovation sectors journeyed to Boston to meet with officials from the Mass Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), Mass Tech Collaborative (MTC) and the Mass Clean Energy Center. Rich Elam, executive director of MOITI, said “The Mexican delegation was most interested to learn from the Massachusetts experience in building a first class innovation economy.” Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph, Consul General of Mexico in Boston, says that “Massachusetts is a global leader in the knowledge economy…and Governor Patrick’s mission to Mexico comes at a perfect time to strengthen our bonds and maximize the opportunities for developing new state-of-the-art sectors.”
Massachusetts Opens New Mideast Route with Emirates Airline
Travel, commerce and education are key economic engines in the global economy, and Massachusetts has just revved up these areas with the launch of Emirates Airline this week. The non-stop flight between Boston and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, officially launched on March 10, and opens up a whole new region of the world. Named the “World’s Best Airlines” by Skytrax in 2013, Emirates has a sizable network of 142 destinations in six continents. At Boston Logan International Airport on March 10, Governor Deval Patrick told airline officials that the new route “will help the Commonwealth facilitate commerce and trade, allowing us to be a strong force and have more access to the global market.” Sir Timothy Clark, President of Emirates, said, “Great cities need great airports, and great airports need great airlines, and I hope we’re one of those. Boston is our eighth (American) gateway city, and one of our most optimistic ones, because of the (market) segmentation it offers us.” Having an enhanced international presence can only benefit the Massachusetts/New England economy. Since 2012, Massport has developed five new, non-stop international air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Panama City, Dubai, and later this spring, Istanbul and Beijing. These connections are already impacting Massachusetts across multiple sectors. Take tourism, for example, the state’s third largest employer, supporting 126,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism reports that International tourism increased by 12% in 2013, with over two million foreign visitors coming to Massachusetts. Business opportunities stand to benefit too. There are currently more than 50 New England companies operating in the United Arabs Emirates, according to Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment. Massachusetts’ colleges and universities will also benefit. The state currently hosts 46,486 international students, an increase of 13% over 2012, ranking fourth among all U.S. states for international students, according to the Institute of International Education. Massachusetts has a longstanding tradition as an international destination, thanks to our educational institutions, medical facilities, history and heritage, cultural richness, diverse economy and beautiful natural environment. That tradition remains strong in this era of global engagement, as Massachusetts continues to seek new avenues to reach out to the world, and to invite the world here.
Exports Are Up in Massachusetts
(Caption: Conley Terminal, Photo Courtesy of Massport) What do medical devices, semi-conductors, turbojets and fish oil have in common? They are all “made in Massachusetts” products that are exported and sold in 234 countries around the world. Exports are an important component of the Massachusetts economy; in 2013 we shipped $26.8 billion worth of merchandise outside of our borders. That’s an increase of 4.6% from 2012, according to statistics compiled by the US Census Bureau and recently released by the International Trade Administration. That’s good news for the 9,000 Bay State companies that export, says Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, adding that more than 90% of those companies are small and medium businesses. The Center is the state’s one-stop resource for export assistance, providing one-on-one technical assistance to Massachusetts businesses, and offering them customized solutions to grow their export capacity. It offers a range of services, such as regular webinars, workshops, and certification programs for getting into the export business. The Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, which has offices around the state. The increase in exports is another sign that the state’s economic development strategy, Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, continues to pay dividends. Having worked its way through the recession of 2008 quicker than most other states, Massachusetts is poised for significant growth, as long term investment in education, innovation and infrastructure continue to strengthen our economy. The international market is a big part of that growth potential. According to the 2013 statistics, Canada is our biggest buyer, purchasing $3.7 billion of our goods, followed by China ($2 billion), Mexico ($1.86 billion), Germany ($1.85 billion), and Japan ($1.8 billion). Massachusetts enjoys a strong brand across the world, thanks to our longstanding traditions of commerce and trade, the reputation of our colleges and universities, medical and research institutions, our cultural richness, and our attractiveness as a vacation destination. In recent years, our innovation economy has also emerged as one of the defining characteristics of what makes Massachusetts so special. For more information about the Massachusetts Export Center and how it can help your business, contact Paula Murphy at Paula.Murphy@state.ma.us
MassChallenge Becoming a Global Brand
(Caption: Akhil Nigam, MassChallenge Co-founder & President) MassChallenge is the quintessential startup. When co-founders Akhil Nigam and John Harthorne launched it in 2010, they challenged entrepreneurs from around the world to submit their ideas, offering to help develop the best ones into viable products; and ultimately, to help get the products to market. A startup to help startups – what a winning idea. Now in its fifth year, MassChallenge has become the world’s largest startup accelerator, giving entrepreneurs the resources they need to launch and to succeed immediately. It awards prize money with no strings attached, and offers winners world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media outreach and over $15 million of in-kind support. And now, MassChallenge is becoming a global brand. At the recent kickoff of the 2014 startup accelerator competition on February 12, Nigam, Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and leaders from the innovation community gathered at the Innovation and Design Building in Boston’s Seaport District, where the new MassChallenge offices will open on May 1, 2014. At the same time, Chief Executive Officer Harthorne was in Tel Aviv, Israel, connected by video conference, simultaneously kicking off the MassChallenge Israel 2014 program. And finally, the cofounders announced that the group is launching a third location in London this December, called MassChallenge UK. The success of MassChallenge has been hailed by Governor Deval Patrick, who recognizes the value of global engagement as the key to growth and success. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is well positioned to continue its leadership among the global innovation economy because of our strategic investments in innovation, education and infrastructure,” Governor Patrick said at the event. “MassChallenge’s new program in the UK and its programs in Boston and Israel do important work to connect these hubs of entrepreneurship.” Harthorne called MassChallenge’s success “a testament to the unwavering support of the Boston community and partners from around the world, including our family of entrepreneurs who work tirelessly to build companies that produce powerful results.” Last year along, MassChallenge applications came from over 40 countries, and the new programs in Israel and the UK will surely expand that reach in years to come. To date, MassChallenge has supported 489 new startups, creating more than 3,900 jobs, and raising $472 in outside funding. But there’s an intrinsic value too: MassChallenge has demonstrated that innovation thrives when people share ideas with one another. That spirit of collaboration, creativity and ingenuity, in an incubator setting where the best ideas prevail, is what makes Massachusetts such a hub of innovation. The deadline for submissions to MassChallenge 2014 is April 2, and early bird applications are accepted on March 5, 2014.
MassEcon Seeks Massachusetts’ Best New Companies in 2013
(Caption: 2013 Honorees at MassEcon Corporate Welcome Reception) MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth, is seeking nominations for the best new companies to set up shop in Massachusetts since January 1, 2013. These companies will be invited to attend the sixth annual MassEcon Corporate Welcome Reception, taking place on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Genzyme headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The gathering includes 100 private sector leaders and senior state officials, including Gregory Bialecki, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. Last year’s event welcomed seventeen companies new to Massachusetts, including both start-up companies and established businesses, originating from across the United States and around the world. Here is a list of the 2013 companies with profiles. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, says the corporate welcome reception is a great way for new companies to meet their colleagues, competitors and potential collaborators in a relaxed, informal setting. “MassEcon and its Ambassadors want to say ‘thank you’ to these companies for locating in Massachusetts,” says Houston. “Connecting their executives with contacts from the state, academia, and other industries tells these companies that there is a community ready to support their growth.” Here is the MassEcon Nomination Form. The eligible companies must have established a new physical presence in Massachusetts since January 1, 2013. Deadline for submission is Tuesday, March 4, 2014. For questions about the nomination process, please contact Samantha Lordi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-924-4600 x13.
Advancing Manufacturing in Massachusetts
Massachusetts, renowned as America’s manufacturing epicenter in the mid-19th century, is rapidly regaining its spot as a leading manufacturing center, but with a 21st century twist. The state’s robust innovation economy has stimulated a new era of advanced manufacturing that relies on high-tech, precision machinery to produce a range of products including medical devices, robots, military equipment, green-energy technology and video games. Governor Deval Patrick recognizes the potential of advanced manufacturing to create jobs and move the economy forward. In his recent State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Patrick emphasized the strength of advanced manufacturing in our innovation economy. A few days after the address, Governor Patrick traveled to western Massachusetts to tour Advanced Manufacturing Co, Inc of Westfield, a family-owned business that makes precision parts for submarines, jets, helicopters and the International Space Station. Founded in 1962, the company has 200 workers. The governor’s commitment to advanced manufacturing is longstanding. In 2011 he launched the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a group of leaders from industry, academia and government formed to map out a strategy for this emerging sector. The group created a five-point agenda to Promote Manufacturing, Educate the Workforce, Provide Technical Assistance, Ease the Cost of Doing Business and Gain Access to Capital Resources. See Governor Patrick on the Today Show talking about manufacturing. In its economic development plan, Choosing to Compete in the 21st century, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has identified Building Talent as one of five key initiatives. Indeed, one of our biggest challenges over the next decade is to train up to 100,000 skilled workers to enter the advanced manufacturing industry. AMC is working with high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities to provide training in computer and engineering courses to meet this demand. In a recent visit to Springfield Technical Community College, EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki praised western Massachusetts for “deliberately seizing the opportunity” to bring precision manufacturing back. “You’ve got businesses, government, academic and community working together, saying let’s do it.” One program that is creating a buzz about advanced manufacturing is AMP iT UP!, a statewide promotional campaign educating students about manufacturing careers in Massachusetts. In December 2013, Mass Development announced nearly $110,000 in AMP it UP! matching grants to eleven programs across the Commonwealth that promote manufacturing as a career. This spring, the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is holding its 2nd annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit on April 29, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The summit brings together hundreds of executives and managers to share industry best practices and to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the advanced manufacturing industry. Here is a list of manufacturers in Massachusetts
Governor Patrick Hails Massachusetts’ Progress in State of the Commonwealth Address
Governor Deval Patrick gave his final State of the Commonwealth speech on Tuesday, January 29, 2014 at the Massachusetts State House. Below are excerpts from the speech. Read the address in its entirety. Today, Massachusetts is first in the nation in student achievement, in health care coverage, in economic competitiveness, in entrepreneurial activity, in venture funding, in energy efficiency and in veterans’ services. Today, our biotech sector is one of the fastest growing in the world, our clean tech sector is seeing double-digit job growth, and we have trained over 100,000 people for jobs with these and other innovators. Today, manufacturing in our state is growing more than 50 percent faster than in the nation as a whole, and seven times the rate it did during the previous administration. Today, we are rebuilding our infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth. Multi-family housing starts have tripled and commercial development is on the rebound. Today, a new 1,200 mile fiber-optic network serves to connect every community to high-speed Internet. Today, over 110,000 acres have been added to our conservation lands, and over two million of our residents will by this year be able to walk to a local park. Today, instead of leaving in droves, young people and families are moving into Massachusetts. Our population is growing again — faster than the rest of the region. We’ve reversed the long decline of past years. Today, our doors are open to new markets around the world through direct flights to Dublin, Madrid, Toronto, the Dominican Republic, Tokyo, Panama City, Istanbul, Dubai and Beijing; Logan saw record numbers of travelers in the last two years; and Worcester Airport is open for business. *** Massachusetts is back in the leadership business, and the state of our Commonwealth is strong. Our strategy for growth is sound. It’s all about investing time, ideas and money in education, innovation and infrastructure. We invest in education because that’s the single best way to prepare our people for work and for life. We invest in innovation because focusing on industries that depend on our kind of concentration of brainpower is the best way to play to our strengths. And we invest in infrastructure because these are the things the public builds as a platform for private investment and personal ambition. Our strategy is a proven path to job growth, to helping people help themselves. So, tonight, I am asking you to recommit to that strategy and to working together to meet our citizens’ unmet needs. Education First and foremost, let’s keep leading in education. Let’s make quality early education and all-day kindergarten available to more young children. Let’s keep lifting higher our strong public schools and keep strengthening our weaker ones. And let’s give our public colleges and universities the resources they need to freeze tuition and fees once again. Let’s keep going. Innovation Let’s keep playing to our strengths by supporting the life sciences and advanced manufacturing, by expanding our clean tech initiatives, including in the burgeoning water technology cluster, by encouraging technology clusters of every kind. Each of these sectors has seen very strong job growth and very strong investment, in both small companies and large ones, well outpacing the average. This is where our present and our future lie. Working together we can double the size of our innovation economy in the next decade. Let’s keep going. Infrastructure And let’s keep rebuilding our infrastructure. This year, we will open the Assembly Square station in Somerville and the Yawkey station in Boston; increase commuter rail service to Worcester; resume seasonal service to the Cape; and launch automated tolling. With your help, Mr. Speaker and Madame President, we can begin construction on the Silver Line to Chelsea, the I-91 viaduct in Springfield, and the last mile of broadband in underserved communities. We can hire the builder for new Red line and Orange line trains, and start building them right here in Massachusetts. And yes, in this year, we can accelerate construction on South Coast Rail. Why Growth Matters With all of us doing what we can, with effective implementation of our strategy and our eye on the common good, we can be confident of sustained economic growth. Economic growth matters — not just because it creates wealth, though that is good; and not just because it expands a given industry or reduces unemployment rates, though that is also good. Growth matters because it creates opportunity, and opportunity is fundamental to who we are. Every one of us has a stake in that. Creating opportunity, keeping the Dream within reach, is the agenda now, just as it has been for the past seven years. Frankly, it is the only agenda I have ever had in this job and the only one worth having. ###
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