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U.S. News & World Report Names Massachusetts #1 State in America
U.S. News & World Report debuted its Best States rankings this week and Massachusetts was ranked the #1 State in the United States. The rankings are based on various factors, such as education health care, infrastructure, government economy, opportunity and justice. The project includes 28 rankings using 68 metrics, 26 data sources and 10,000 data points. Here is a summary of all 50 states. Massachusetts’ highest rankings include: # 1 Educational Attainment #1 College readiness #2 Medicare quality #3 Pre-K to 12th grade In an interview on CBS This Morning, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker joined Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer for the Report, to discuss the Commonwealth’s #1 overall ranking. “We have a lot of great schools” in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said. “That has led to a whole series of terrific, what I would call ecosystems around technology and healthcare and finance and education. You put it all together, in this day and age, in this kind of global economy and global world we live in, and it’s a terrific mix.” Health care factored into the state’s high rankings, according to the Report. In 2015, 96.4% of residents had health care insurance, the highest in the country, and the health care industry contributed $19.77 billion to state’s economy. Massachusetts also ranked first in Broadband access, and was also cited for its low unemployment and rate of new business growth, ranking second in the nation for new patents. “We also do have a bipartisan approach to working together,” Baker said. “People are okay with the ideas of compromise and collaboration. If you look at the success we’ve had policy-wise in the education, health care, and economy spaces, energy and a whole bunch of others, they’ve all been done on a bipartisan basis.” Reporter Visi Tilak, who wrote the Massachusetts summary, wrote, “Its vibrant academic environment, innovative and supportive health care policies and modernizing economy, measure for measure, make this small New England powerhouse with a population of 6.8 million the strongest state of all.” Tilak concluded that the indicators “point to a promising future for a state presently ranked No. 1 overall, a state whose fabric is woven with the modern and traditional, immense range and diversity, a formula that allows for tremendous innovation and growth.” Find out about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council Awards $5 Million to 13 Communities
Port of New Bedford. Photo courtesy of New Bedford Tourism & Marketing Office. Earlier this month, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced a total of $5 million in awards for 13 coastal communities. The grant awards advance collaborative initiatives to improve public infrastructure and promote maritime economic development in a wide array of coastal cities and towns. Governor Charlie Baker called the Blue Economy “an integral component of Massachusetts’s long-term economic growth, in sectors as diverse as robotics and commercial fishing. These investments will help modernize and repair vital infrastructure in New Bedford, encourage research and development in Falmouth, and generate maritime economic growth from Gloucester to Tisbury.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said that Massachusetts “has built a globally competitive economy on our ability to leverage the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, skills, and physical assets. The Seaport Economic Council gives coastal communities the tools to advance collaborative work and community-based plans that will encourage sustainable growth.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the Baker-Polito Administration “remains committed to supporting our 78 coastal cities and towns by making investments in waterfront planning and coastal assets which generate economic development.” Here is a link to the 2017 grant recipients of the Seaport Economic Council. The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.
Governor Baker announces budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018
(Photo courtesy of State House News) The Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal on January 25, 2017. The $40.508 billion spending plan funds key priorities including local aid, education, workforce development, housing and homelessness services, and substance misuse prevention programs, while keeping spending in line with recurring revenues and does not raise taxes. See video on the budget proposal, with comments by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “This budget reaffirms our commitment to the hardworking people of the Commonwealth to propose a balanced budget that significantly invests in education, workforce development and funds to fight the opioid epidemic—without raising taxes,” said Governor Baker. “While practicing fiscal discipline and reining in spending, we are also pleased to introduce new initiatives like the ‘Learn to Earn’ program to shrink the unemployment and underemployment gap in our state and a $4,000 tax-credit for employers hiring an unemployed veteran. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature so that we can all make Massachusetts a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” Read more information on the Governor’s filing letter, budget message and specific account informmation.
Governor Baker Delivers Second State of the Commonwealth Address
This week, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his second State of the Commonwealth address from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Members of the audience included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, members of the House and Senate, state officers, business leaders and community groups. “Our economy is among the strongest in the nation,“ Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment, while new companies are born here every day. In fact, for the second year in a row, Bloomberg named Massachusetts the #1 state for innovation. “It’s not an accident that Massachusetts is such an attractive place to do business. It’s a reflection of the quality of our people and the business climate we’ve created,” he said. Governor Baker also spoke about the progress being made on energy in Massachusetts. “Together, we passed landmark legislation that will reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining a competitively priced and reliable supply of energy. And we’ve built on those efforts by issuing an Executive Order on Climate Change that directs state government to work with local governments, business, and non-profits to develop plans to further protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” In terms of making government more efficient and more accessible to businesses and citizens in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said, “We’ve reviewed, updated and eliminated thousands of pages of outdated and obsolete state regulations, which has reduced red tape and made it easier for employers, non-profits and cities and towns to do their jobs.” Governor Baker also talked about Massachusetts’ innovation economy and its global reputation in technology, health and the life sciences. “We all know the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology. Smart buildings. Smarter machines. Robotics. Autonomous vehicles. Digital health. Precision manufacturing. And big data to name a few,” Baker said. “These are the platforms of the next generation of great companies and new jobs. And cyber security that moves as fast as the hackers, thieves and troublemakers is what makes this all possible. Success in protecting databases and smart machines will ensure that people benefit from the best ideas in science, engineering and technology for decades to come. Baker called Massachusetts “one of the three most important players in cyber security in the world,” and said the industry is just taking off. “Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to protect information and assets. Massachusetts’ organizations should play a major role in driving these decisions. Over the next ten months we’ll bring together the best minds locally and globally to develop a blueprint for success here in Massachusetts. And we will follow it.” Finally, the governor praised the veterans of Massachusetts but noted that “too many of our returning heroes struggle to find good jobs. So we’ll be proposing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring and retaining an unemployed veteran.” Here is the full text of Governor Baker’s address.
Massachusetts Senate Hosting Commonwealth Conversations 2017
The Massachusetts Senate is hosting its annual Commonwealth Conversations, a state wide listening tour of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicks off on Tuesday, January 31 in the Metro Boston region, and continues through Tuesday, April 11 in the North Shore region. See full schedule below. The Massachusetts State Senate is “bringing Beacon Hill to you with Commonwealth Conversations 2017,” said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who called the initiative “part of the next step in our ongoing efforts to make your government even more responsive and accessible to you.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: Date Region January 31 Metro Boston February 7 South Coast February 28 South Shore March 7 Southeast March 14 Central Mass March 21 Northeast March 28 Western Mass April 4 MetroWest April 11 North Shore
Massachusetts Partners in Nation’s First Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute
The Baker-Polito Administration has been selected as a partner in the nation’s first Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The $250 million Institute is a national public-private partnership, awarded through Manufacturing USA, a federally-authorized network of manufacturing innovation institutes. Federal matching funds for the institute will be provided by the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The public-private partnership will develop and commercialize new advanced manufacturing technologies while training a skilled workforce. Governor Charlie Baker says the new Institute will “ensure that our globally competitive life sciences cluster continues to deliver cutting-edge therapies, while providing quality manufacturing jobs to the citizens of Massachusetts.” The Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the sixth Manufacturing USA project secured under the Baker-Polito Administration. Massachusetts is anchoring the northeastern node for project, which will be known as the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a public-private partnership that seeks to solve challenges related to the production, testing, and regulation of new treatments. Educational and research institutions participating include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Quincy College, UMass Lowell, UMass Medical School, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), along with a consortium of small, medium, and large biopharmaceutical industry partners from across the supply chain. The Commonwealth is supporting NIIMBL’s collaborative research and development, and workforce training efforts, through a five-year, $20 million commitment from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The Commonwealth’s matching contribution leverages $70 million in federal funds, awarded to the national project, and additional matching funds from private sector participants. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito says the partnership “will create new capacity to manufacture modern biopharmaceutical therapies in Massachusetts, and continue to broaden the reach of the life sciences cluster throughout the Commonwealth.” Travis McCready, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said the Institute “will build connections between our biomanufacturing innovators in industry and academia, and will connect the innovation going on in manufacturing with the innovation going on in the lab.” The project will also train an advanced manufacturing workforce, capable of working in new biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing USA, formerly known as the National Network for Manufacturing Institutes, is a network of competitively awarded public-private innovation institutes. Manufacturing USA seeks to spur research into cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to advanced manufacturing processes. Bidders frequently form teams of universities across different states, with regional nodes supporting the lead bidder. The federal awards are leveraged several times over through a series of state and industry matches. Massachusetts is convening a national effort to develop revolutionary fibers and textiles, and the state is a participant in regional manufacturing innovation institute nodes in photonics, flexible hybrid electronics, smart manufacturing, and rapid process intensification.
Massachusetts “Open for Business” Initiative Offers New Approach to the State’s Real Estate Properties
In October 2015, Massachusetts launched a unique business opportunity initiative called Open for Business, which challenged agencies across state government to find the “highest and best use” of real properties and assets that are entrusted to the Commonwealth. The purpose, according to Governor Charlie Baker, was to protect natural resources, create economic opportunity, build housing, manage these lands with professionalism and creativity, and to generate appropriate revenue from leases and other partnerships. Governor Baker said, “This is an opportunity for the private and nonprofit sectors to partner with the Commonwealth as we look to support job creation, affordable housing, renewable energy, capital investment in state buildings, and otherwise manage the lands and buildings that are entrusted to us. We believe the best ideas won’t come from within government; they will come from the private sector, from local leaders, and from community stakeholders.” Last week Governor Baker briefed reporters about the progress that has been made through the Open for Business initiative, including the sale or lease of 22 state-owned pieces of land and the identification of 80+ potential projects. When these first 22 projects are fully executed, they will generate: $413 million in revenue 1,556 new housing units 260 new jobs 100,000 square feet of commercial space $8.2 million in annual property tax payments to cities and towns As the administration looks for “better and smart or more sophisticated use” of state property, officials expect that the collaboration with the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, as well as private developers, will help the program will also help increase affordable and market-rate housing stock while expanding job opportunities. For the first time, assets that are owned by different agencies are being aggregated in one place, regular inter-agency meetings are streamlining the process, and progress is being tracked. Since the Open for Business program launched, it has been expanded from 42 properties to 85 potential projects across 41 cities and towns.
Massachusetts Rated the Most Innovative State in America by Bloomberg
Massachusetts is again rated the number one state for innovation in the United States by Bloomberg, edging out California for the second straight year. The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index rated each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across these six metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) employment; science & engineering degree holders; and patent activity. Bloomberg reported that Massachusetts “gained ground by churning out more science and engineering graduates and producing jobs in those industries even though it had less technology company density than in 2015.” In addition, Bloomberg wrote, “Ranking leader Massachusetts has enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and now boasts a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, leaving it tied for second-best in the country. That compares with a 4.6 percent national average.”
SBANE SUPPORTS Massachusetts-based Manufacturing Companies
The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) recently awarded a total of $225,000 in matching grant funds to 31 manufacturing companies across the Commonwealth. Currently in its eight year, and fifth consecutive funding year, SBANE’s Manufacturing Matching Grant Program is an opportunity for small and medium-sized Massachusetts-based manufacturers to hire private consulting expertise to assist with finance, marketing, accounting, government procurement and other business tasks. This competitive, one-time matching grant program is funded through an appropriation in the state budget and is overseen by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Over the last eight years, SBANE has allocated $1,637,500 in public funds to approximately 189 manufacturing companies that support 9,420 jobs in Massachusetts. Here are some success stories from the program. “The impact on manufacturers who have utilized the program has been extremely beneficial,” said SBANE President Robert Baker. “These matching funds have helped companies make completely necessary improvements to their business operations.” “Manufacturing is an important sector in the Massachusetts economy,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade. “As small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the Commonwealth seek to grow or restructure, these grants give them the necessary resources to succeed.” For more information on this program, or other ways SBANE helps small businesses, please visit our website at SBANE.org
BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION EMBARKS ON ISRAELI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MISSION
Governor Charlie Baker and the New England-Israel Business Council (NEIBC) are leading an economic development mission to Israel this week designed to bolster the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness in cybersecurity and digital health. Massachusetts has a thriving digital health ecosystem, with nearly 300 innovative companies and 10 digital health innovation programs and accelerators, including an initiative announced by Governor Baker earlier this year. Cybersecurity continues to be one of the major economic growth drivers between Israel and the Commonwealth’s robust research, investment, capital and talent sectors. Governor Baker said the mission provides “opportunities to exchange ideas and showcase all Massachusetts has to offer, from a highly-educated and talented workforce, to top tier universities and a vibrant venture capital sector, as these startup Israeli businesses seek a home away from home to expand and create new jobs in the Commonwealth.” The Massachusetts-Israel business connection is already strong. According the NEIBC’s 3rd edition economic impact study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked over $9 billion in revenue in 2015 – nearly 4 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – and employed 9,000 workers. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is four times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. The administration is partnering with the New England Israel Business Council (NEIBC), with the support of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) to host the mission at no cost to taxpayers. Nearly 40 private sector partners are participating, along with staff from the Baker-Polito Administration.
Massport Unveils ‘Four Centuries of Innovation’ Exhibit at Boston Logan Airport
Massport CEO Tom Glynn at the opening of Four Centuries of Innovation Massachusetts is proud of its illustrious history as it prepares to celebrate the Plymouth 400 anniversary in 2020, followed by celebrations of nearly three dozen other cities and towns that were settled between 1620 and 1630. Another equally fascinating narrative related to Massachusetts is its distinctive history of innovation and invention, as evidenced by Four Centuries of Innovation, a new exhibit officially unveiled by Massport this week at Boston’s Logan International Airport. The exhibit, which runs in a new connector corridor between Terminal E and Terminal C, features 49 world-changing innovations in medicine, technology, education, finance and social change. Present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 17 were Thomas P. Glynn, Massport CEO, Dr. Robert Krim, Professor and Founder of the Innovation Center, Framingham State University, and Janey Bishoff, CEO, Bishoff Communications. Krim and Bishoff created the exhibit along with the staff at Massport. Joining them on stage were Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Business Development, Francois Nivaud, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Pat Moscaritolo, President & CEO of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as university leaders, entrepreneurs, business leaders and airport personnel. Dr. Krim, who worked on the innovation project for nearly 20 years, is an expert on the innovation history of Massachusetts. During his remarks, he gave insight into why the state has been a key center of social and technological innovation going back 400 years. He said Boston was “one of the two or three most innovative cities in the world,” thanks to its cluster of universities, research centers, and entrepreneurial spirit. The new permanent exhibit shows the breadth of innovation in Massachusetts. “We have found that Massachusetts has more innovations that have changed either the nation or the world than any other state in the US,” Krim says. “More than 500 breakthroughs which changed the nation and/or the world came from Massachusetts over our four centuries, in medicine, technology, education, finance, and social justice. It’s an incredible set of stories, which we want others to know about.” The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $15 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities. For more information please visit massport.com.
MassChallenge Presents $1.5 Million to World’s Most Promising Startups
MassChallenge™ recently announced $1 million in prize money to 16 of the world’s highest impact startups at the 7th annual Boston Awards. In addition to this funding, CASIS & Boeing also allocated $500,000 to three startups to fund research projects on the International Space Station. The event took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the city’s Seaport District, not far from the Massport headquarters. Over 1,500 people attended, including leaders from business, government, academia and community organizations. The assembled crowed heard on-stage pitches from the top 26 companies being considered for the awards, and also heard from Governor Charlie Baker and Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. “The great genius in MassChallenge is the notion of being able to accelerate ideas into something much bigger,” said Governor Charlie Baker, who also praised “the finalists, disruptors, big thinkers and entrepreneurs who will push innovation forward. “MassChallenge has an enormous impact about what people think about our brand and about Boston,” the governor said. See the full list of winners here. “I’m so proud to announce this year’s winning startups, which have leveraged our global network of resources, mentors, partners, and more to truly change the world,” said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. He also praised “startups and key players across the ecosystem who have made a commitment to work together in order to create enormous impact.” MassChallenge also celebrated passing a milestone of accelerating over 1,000 alumni, bringing the total to 1,211. In total, these 1,211 startups have raised over $1.8 billion in funding, generated over $700 million in revenue, and created 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. Notable alumni include Gingko Bioworks (Boston, 2010), Handy (Boston, 2012), Localytics (Boston, 2010), Cambridge Bioaugmentation Systems (UK, 2015), and Turo (Boston, 2010). “We have come a long way since 2010 when we ran our first accelerator in Boston,” said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO of MassChallenge. “We now have accelerators in five countries and growing, and have helped accelerate over 1,200 startups. “They are truly making an impact on the world – addressing some of the world’s biggest problems through innovation and creating jobs of the future. This is only the beginning and I’m excited to watch what our alumni continue to accomplish in the years to come.” Visit MassChallenge for more information.
Massachusetts, America’s Most Innovative State
Massachusetts has again topped the State Technology & Science Index as the Number One innovation economy in the United States. The index, issued annually by the Milken Institute, measured five categories in the rankings: human capital investment; risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure; research and development inputs; technology concentration and dynamism; and technology and science workforce. Governor Charlie Baker called Massachusetts’s top innovation ranking “a testament to the talent of our workforce and the ingenuity of our employer community. But it is also a reminder of the competition we’re facing from other states, and of the need to continue the public-private research and development investments that will allow our advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and high-technology clusters to continue to grow.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito praised “the researchers and employers that are pioneering new technological advances in cyber security, robotics, materials sciences, and medical and wearable devices. Our administration is committed to supporting innovation clusters throughout the Commonwealth, accelerating business formation and growth, and ensuring that our workers are prepared for the jobs of the future.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, cited “highly educated workforce, our public supports for new technology discovery, and an unparalleled network of incubators, accelerators, and collaborative workspaces that nurture the growth of new, innovative companies” for creating the state’s dynamic innovation economy. Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, called Massachusetts “the best place in the nation and the world for life sciences innovation,” adding, “through continued investment, we are developing a fully integrated ecosystem for life sciences product development, from discovery right through to commercialization and production.” Tim Connelly, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said, “To remain on top we’re continuing these investments, supporting public-private R&D projects focused on emerging technology sectors. Our hope is that the technologies developed and workers trained through these innovative projects will keep us at the top of the list for decades to come.” Since January 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has committed matching funds to public-private research partnerships in emerging technology clusters, in cyber security and data science, nano-printed smart sensors, and printed electronics. The Administration is collaborating with partners in higher education and private industry on three major federally-sponsored advanced manufacturing technology projects, including a national innovation institute in revolutionary fibers and textiles, and regional innovation institutes in flexible hybrid electronics, and integrated photonics. The Administration has also launched a comprehensive public-private cluster development initiative to advance the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s emerging digital health industry. The Baker-Polito Administration has also committed $12 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to provide high schools and community colleges with modern workforce development equipment, with a significant allocation devoted to workforce training in innovation fields, including engineering, advanced manufacturing, robotics, computer science, and 3D printing. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569), which includes $71 million for the development and commercialization of new manufacturing technologies, $45 million for workforce training equipment grants, and $15 million for the Research and Development Matching Grant fund, recognized in the Milken Institute’s innovation index as a critical driver of long-term investments in the future of the state’s innovation economy. The Act also includes $15 million for investments in community-based innovation, through a new fund that makes capital grants to support the development and fit-out of collaborative workspaces.
STEP Grants Help Massachusetts Export Companies Market Themselves Overseas
Caption: President Cathy Rocheleau welcomed Nam Pham and Mark Sullivan and other state and local officials to Rocheleau Tool & Die Company for the Step Grant Announcement. (Photo courtesy of Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise) Earlier this month, federal and state officials announced a new round of grants to help small businesses in Massachusetts expand and help market their export activities overseas. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) awarded $504,478 in funds to Massachusetts, which added a matching contribution of $168,159 for a total of $672,637. The STEP grant is being administered through the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), the Office of Business Development (MOBD) and the Massachusetts Export Center (MEC). The announcement was made at the Rocheleau Tool & Die Company in Fitchburg, a company that has had success in expanding its business to South America. Cathy Rocheleau, president of Rocheleau Tool & Die, welcomed state and local officials to the plant and later gave a tour of the manufacturing facilities. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said the funds “will support the growth of small businesses, whether they are new to exporting, or seeking to expand their export activities. I look forward to continued partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, as we work together to spread economic growth across the Commonwealth.” The STEP grants provide reimbursements to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for qualified export-promotion expenses. Supported activities may include trade show participation, overseas marketing, and localization services and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Participating small businesses are also required to secure matching private funds. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, said the grant is available to small businesses across Massachusetts. “The funds are awarded on a competitive basis, and a well-planned international business strategy is critical for a grant award,” she said. Mark F. Sullivan, Executive Director of MOITI, said last year’s STEP grants were shared with over 60 Massachusetts small businesses to enhance their opportunities in the global marketplace. “We look forward to continuing that success with this year’s grant round,” Sullivan added. Also attending the event was Robert H. Nelson, district director of SBA’s Massachusetts District Office, Roy Nascimento, executive director of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. MOITI and MEC are currently accepting grant applications from businesses, and a free STEP grant webinar is being presented on November 18 and December 14, 2016.
Massachusetts Supports Community-Based Innovation Programs
(Photo: Greentown Labs in Somerville) The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced a coordinated grant funding round to support community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in municipalities across Massachusetts. The $1.175 million funding round includes grants to support physical workspaces that launch new businesses at the local level, as well as new funding for human capital development in entrepreneur mentorship programming. Governor Charlie Baker said the Administration “is connecting every region in Massachusetts to the innovation economy, creating a platform for sustainable statewide job growth. Through these new investments in innovative workspaces and entrepreneurship support systems, we are deepening the infrastructure of economic development at the local level, and fueling small business job creation.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the grant programs “will help community-based stakeholders position themselves as anchors of the entrepreneurial economy. The establishment of locally-grown innovation districts will empower every community in the Commonwealth to have a stake in moving the Massachusetts economy forward.” MassDevelopment is making $1 million in grant funding available to support the development of collaborative workspaces. It includes $500,000 to facilitate the workspaces in Gateway Cities, and $500,000 to workspaces in non-Gateway municipalities. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is committing $175,000 to create a new statewide entrepreneurship support network through its Innovation Institute. It plans to help launch a statewide Knowledge Sharing Network, a two-year pilot program that will provide a statewide platform for solving common problems and sharing best practices. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash “Every community in Massachusetts possesses a deep spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, which is a powerful driver of regional growth. By providing both the physical and human capital needed to sustain local entrepreneurship, we are giving communities the tools they need to grow jobs from within.” Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment, thanked the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature “for supporting this initiative and creating more opportunities to develop innovation related spaces across the entire Commonwealth.” Pat Larkin, Interim Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said the entrepreneur mentoring program “will help enhance both existing and thriving, entrepreneurship programs across Massachusetts, while kick starting new mentoring efforts in the state. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has made a comprehensive effort to map the state’s innovation ecosystem. It found that 118 communities, located in every region of the Commonwealth, contain at least one innovation space, program, or organization, with dense innovation hubs in every region of the state. The Baker-Polito Administration’s community-based innovation strategy focuses on growing these statewide innovation assets, and empowering community innovation stakeholders to drive regional job growth. Here is more information on the Massachusetts Community-Based Innovation Program.
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.9 Million in Seaport Economic Council Grants
(Seaport Economic Council in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum) This month the Seaport Economic Council awarded $2.9 million in competitive grants to grow the blue economy and support job creation in coastal cities and towns. The funding will unlock increased economic activity and growth in Chelsea, Fairhaven, Quincy and Swampscott, while supporting technological innovation and education opportunities through Bunker Hill Community College, the John Adams Innovation Institute and the University of Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts leads the world’s blue economy and our administration is committed to supporting its regional growth in the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities by investing in education, planning, and research efforts. The important investments by the Seaport Economic Council in technological research and development will ensure Massachusetts maintains a strong employment base in the blue economy of the future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help communities plan for growth and leverage their unique economic assets to support job creation and business expansion. Funding marine infrastructure improvements and educational programs supports small business growth and ensures residents can access the skills they need for employment in the maritime economy.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk said the state’s blue economy “encompasses everything from part-time scallopers to artists and underwater vehicle designers. Supporting municipal planning efforts, infrastructure improvements, and educational programs will help ensure that these communities retain their diverse and strong economies.” The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast. Grant Recipients Bunker Hill Community College – $450,000 Bunker Hill Community College will partner with College Bound Dorchester to foster awareness of the maritime economy sector among Boston’s youth, and will ensure that students gain the necessary skills and certificates – including carpentry, woodworking, electrical, and plumbing skills – to engage in maritime trades. Chelsea Harbor Plan – $120,000 The City of Chelsea will prepare a Municipal Harbor Plan to allow for greater flexibility in waterfront development. This planning process will support Chelsea’s development of a strategic path to achieve its waterfront goals and objectives. Fairhaven Union Wharf Improvements – $950,713 The Town of Fairhaven will use funds to construct Phase 2 of the West Wall Union Wharf Bulkhead Replacement and Improvements. The Wharf is within the Designated Port Area and is currently used by commercial scallopers, draggers and lobster boats. Improvements will allow the Wharf to accommodate additional commercial fishing, charter fishing, and public safety dockage. John Adams Innovation Institute – $147,500 The Seaport Economic Council will partner with the John Adams Innovation Institute to implement the Council’s Innovation Grants Program in a way that maximizes successful investment in innovation-based economic development projects. Quincy Maritime Center – $225,000 The City of Quincy will use grant funding to complete permitting, engineering, geotechnical services, and architectural designs for the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center Building. Swampscott Harbor Plan – $50,000 The Town of Swampscott will undertake a harbor plan, integrating harbor and waterfront initiatives with existing town plans and developments. The plan will focus on identifying and prioritizing necessary coastal infrastructure improvements, evaluating proactive actions to address storm surge and sea-level rise, and encouraging the economic development of the historical waterfront. University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute – $89,569 Significant economic growth potential exists in the Massachusetts seafood economy, but coordinated strategies and investments are required to realize this potential over time. The Urban Harbors Institute will research the details of these approaches and their applicability to the on-the-ground conditions in Massachusetts’ fishing ports. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $612,250 The project draws upon four leading marine and robotics technology organizations to develop new approaches to provide autonomy for unmanned underwater vehicles and prove their usefulness on key missions. This will be done in a collaboration between students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Northeastern University, and private research companies. This research and development will move the marine robotics sector forward, while engaging and educating students. This program will also provide key new research infrastructure, two undersea robots, for university research. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship –$250,000 The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will upgrade its Mechanical and Prototyping Laboratory and Technology Venture Center to attract, support, and retain marine technology startups in southeastern Massachusetts. These facilities will leverage CIE’s experience working with marine technology startups, expanding on a successful program that has already spun out five marine technology firms into established Massachusetts businesses.
MASSECON ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 13TH ANNUAL ECONOMIC IMPACT AWARDS
MassEcon has selected eighteen companies from across the state as finalists for the 2016 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognize companies that make an outstanding contribution to the Massachusetts economy. On on September 14, the finalists will present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth in the Bay State to a panel of judges and business leaders at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. The finalist companies range in size and are drawn from different industries including, manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, technology, and education. MassEcon selected the finalists based on their job growth, facility expansion, and investment since January 1, 2015, as well as other criteria including community involvement. Together this year’s finalists have added over 2,000 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $450 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.5 million square feet since January 2015. “We are thrilled to recognize Massachusetts companies that contribute so much to the Commonwealth’s success,” said Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon. “The range of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the collective strength of our state.” Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor of the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. “Supporting the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards is part of Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities where we live and work,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “These awards recognize businesses across Massachusetts that are investing in their communities, and creating jobs. Citizens Bank congratulates all the finalists on their success and we look forward to celebrating with them on September 14th.” Finalists compete on a regional basis (West, Central, Southeast, Northeast, and Greater Boston), and a gold, silver, and bronze winner will be selected from each region. MassEcon is announcing the winners in October and recognizing them at its annual awards luncheon on November 22nd at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston’s Seaport District. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, MassEcon serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Governor Baker Signs Economic Development Legislation in Massachusetts
Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive economic development legislation into law, providing up to $1 billion in new investments in communities, workforce training, and innovation across Massachusetts, and deepening the state’s economic competitiveness. The new economic development law, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569), advances job creation by expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to building a skilled workforce and connecting residents to economic opportunities, strengthening community and housing development efforts, and investing in the emerging technologies that will underpin the Commonwealth’s economic future. Governor Charlie Baker said the legislation “unleashes valuable opportunities for investments in the development of revolutionary new technologies and community-based innovation, connecting every region of the Commonwealth to the innovation economy. “By pairing those investments with a growing commitment to workforce development in high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and robotics, we will deepen our efforts to build the nation’s most competitive workforce,” the Governor continued. “I am proud this bipartisan legislation will support the growth of our state’s nationally-leading innovation economy, and help develop the jobs of tomorrow.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the legislation provides “a robust set of tools that will allow state government to partner with communities, and advance our common goals. By providing critical funds for public infrastructure, site cleanup, and Gateway City redevelopment, this legislation will unlock local and regional economic development priorities, and connect citizens across Massachusetts to economic opportunity.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the legislation “reflects the collaborative spirit that drives our economic development efforts. It is the result of more than a year of conversations with scores of legislators and administration officials, as well as thousands of conversations with business leaders, municipal officials, educators, community advocates and other stakeholders. And it reflects our shared vision of creating economic opportunities, economic prosperity, and economic mobility throughout the Commonwealth.” An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development is organized around four main themes: community development, workforce development, innovation, and economic competitiveness.
Governor Baker Signs Comprehensive Energy Diversity Legislation in Massachusetts
This week, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into law at the State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, legislative leaders, and energy and environment stakeholders. Proponents hailed it as a continued effort to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio for the Commonwealth, and embrace advanced technologies. An Act Relative to Energy Diversity (H. 4568) garnered bi-partisan support and promotes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening the state’s clean energy economy and progressing toward Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts is always at the forefront of adopting innovative clean energy solutions, and this legislation will allow us to build on that legacy and embrace increased amounts of renewable energy, including hydropower. With our partners in the Legislature, the Commonwealth has taken another major step toward providing residents and businesses with a cost-effective and reliable clean energy future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “The hydroelectric and offshore wind power generation authorized in this legislation will play a crucial role in securing clean and cost-effective energy for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers. By utilizing renewable sources of power generation, Massachusetts will continue to lead the nation in embracing economic and environmentally friendly methods to generate electricity to meet the needs of our communities.” Matthew Beaton, Secreatry of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said, “The ability to procure clean hydroelectric power and off-shore wind is another important milestone in the Commonwealth’s transition to a diversified energy portfolio. By embracing renewable energy generation technologies, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to make progress in achieving the emissions reductions targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act.” Read the full press release here.
FREE Outside the Box Festival Highlights Performing Arts in Massachusetts
Thousands of people from all over New England and beyond are converging on Boston Common this weekend for the Outside the Box Performing Arts Festival. Now in its third year, the five day event has quickly become a popular way for residents and tourists alike to gather and enjoy hundreds of musical, dance, literary, theatrical and comedic performances. The most amazing feature of Outside the Box – aside from the incredible diversity and range of talent – is that the festival is free. Free art for everybody – that has been the vision of OTB founder Ted Cutler, a well-known Boston businessman and philanthropist who has long recognized the positive effects that cultural expression has in Massachusetts and indeed, throughout the world. The festival reaches its apex this weekend with dozens of performances taking place on multiple stages throughout the 50 acre Boston Common, which is the nation’s oldest park, formed in 1634. New this year is the OTB Interactive, built around the belief that innovation is a performing art. Check out the activities taking place on the Common and at nearby venues like the Paramount Center and the Revere Hotel. While the OTB Festival is free, the OTB Interactive requires a badge and admission. See details here. Here is the full schedule of activities and the list of performers. Find out more about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
MassEcon Annual Conference Highlights Massachusetts within a Global Economy
Caption: Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics and panelists. Photo Credit: Janet Stearns. More than 130 leaders from across Massachusetts gathered at the Newton Marriott Hotel in early June for the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, whose theme was Connecting Massachusetts to the Global Economy. An informative and insightful conversation took place that assessed the state’s current and future outlook for success in a globally connected world. Featured speaker Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics, made these observations pertaining to the state’s economy in the global context including: • Massachusetts stands to benefit from high value-add goods exports in the high-tech, health care, machinery, and chemical markets, due to strong human capital and intellectual property protections. • Massachusetts is well positioned to gain from persistent expansion in service exports which has doubled in value nationally since 2005 and accounted for $25 billion in Massachusetts last year. • Current free trade agreements cover 31% of Massachusetts goods exports, but pending deals such as the TPP and TTIP, this share could increase by 33%, removing sizeable tariffs that make Massachusetts products more expensive and less competitive. Following the presentation, Dolega was joined by moderator Curt Nickisch (Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review) and panelists Lorraine Attridge (Fast Trak Leader at GE Healthcare Life Sciences), Colin Gillespie (President of LEGO Education North America), Charles Gray (Vice President and General Counsel at Teradyne), and Paula Murphy (Founder and Director at the Massachusetts Export Center), for further discussion and Q&A with audience members. The dialogue covered a variety of topics ranging from doing business with Iran to the impact of the current election cycle to the significance of non-compete clauses. The panelists emphasized the many strengths of the Massachusetts economy, including: • World renowned education institutions which consistently produce high caliber talent • Openness to foreign leaders, workers, and businesses • Innovative environment • Recent increase in direct international flights to and from Logan International Airport in Boston The panelists also highlighted areas of improvement for the state, including further investment to modernize the infrastructure; additional encouragement to mid and small sized companies to establish headquarters in the state; and ensuring that protectionist regulations regarding employees do not obstruct the Commonwealth’s continuous goal of becoming a world class economy. During the Q&A, Dan Griggs, a TD Bank Market President, raised the issue of non-compete clauses and their impact on business. In response, Charles Gray disagreed with those who cite the presence of non-competes (agreements that prevent employees from using information gained from employment to establish a competing business effort) as a reason for business success. Gray referenced, that in large part, the impact of non-competes depends on the individual market, which can mitigate their overall impact. In addition, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) Executive Director Mark Sullivan conveyed to the audience the role his office could play in helping connect Massachusetts businesses to the global economy. Sullivan also emphasized the availability and attractiveness of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities, offering his office’s assistance to any individuals or companies interested in exploring the opportunities in these locations. Thank you to all who attended the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, and a special thank you to our featured speaker, panelists, moderator and sponsor TD Bank.
PaxEast 2016 Taps into Massachusetts Creative & Innovation Economies
At first glance, this year’s annual PaxEast 2016 gathering at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston resembled a gigantic costume ball, replete with fictional and virtual characters from video games, movies, comic books and the far reaches of someone’s imagination. Massachusetts has a stake in the $67 billion gaming industry, which helps to fuel the state’s creative industries and innovation economy. Tens of thousands of gamers, investors, retailers and experts attend PaxEast each year, supporting the local tourism and hospitality industries. PaxEast is also a valuable stage for aspiring entrepreneurs and game developers to find a ready audience to view new products. One of the most popular elements of the show is the Pax East Indie Showcase, described as “a collection of the best indie games you’ve never heard of available on mobile platforms.” Timothy Loew, executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi) noted the top local video game companies on the Expo Hall floor, included Harmonix, Proletariat, The Deep End Games and The Molasses Flood among a number of others. Numerous Massachusetts schools exhibited, including Becker College in Worcester; Elms College in Chicopee, Mount Ida College in Newton and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “Each year the Boston-area game scene, like PAX East, gets bigger and more exciting,” Lowe says. “With more people playing more games on more devices in more places than ever before, I already can’t wait until the next PaxEast in 2017.” To learn more about the state’s Video Gaming opportunities, contact Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). Here is a schedule of upcoming conventions in Massachusetts. For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
MassEcon Event Welcomes New Companies from Around the World
Photo Caption: MassEcon hosts Corporate Welcome Reception at Genzyme for 19 companies new to Massachusetts. Company leaders are pictured with Governor Charlie Baker, EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and MassEcon Executive Director, Susan Houston. Photo by Janet Stearns. This week MassEcon held its 8th annual Corporate Welcome Reception at Sanofi Genzyme headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Over 100 private sector leaders and senior state officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, were on hand to welcome the representatives from thirteen companies and six airlines to Massachusetts. The sector and geographical diversity of the group speaks to all that Massachusetts has to offer to companies seeking a foothold in the state’s innovation economy. The new companies represent a wide variety of industries including life sciences, education, energy, manufacturing, online retail and transportation. And they come from all parts of the United States and the world. International companies originating from Canada, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Sweden,Turkey and the United Kingdom were represented along with domestic companies with corporate origins in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, New York and Washington. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker said, “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success has put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive. As we continue to build partnerships with our communities and the private sector, we welcome these companies from around the nation and the globe and look forward to the opportunity to encourage more businesses to call Massachusetts home, create jobs and bolster our economy.” According to MassEcon, the companies are adding 1,600 new jobs to the Commonwealth. MassEcon Chairman Brian Cohen said the companies at the event “represent impressive additions to the Commonwealth’s business community, and we look forward to their having a productive, successful, and long-standing relationship with the Commonwealth.” The 13 companies include Amazon in Fall River; Applied Photophysics in Beverly; Avigilon in Somerville; Olink Bioscience in Watertown; Sunrun in Marlborough; ERD Metal in Avon; Eli Lilly, IBM Watson Health, Philips, and WuXi AppTec in Cambridge; and General Electric, Harmon.ie, and LEGO Education in Boston. In addition, six international airlines that have recently launched non-stop flights to and from Boston’s Logan International Airport were among the honorees. They include AeroMexico; El Al Israel Airlines; Norwegian Air Shuttle; Qatar Airways; Scandinavian Airlines and WestJet Airlines. MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said the popular annual event “is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth. It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the robust network of resources Massachusetts has to offer.” MassEcon is a private non-profit entity that serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Governor Baker’s Hydropower Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support
(EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton speaks about Hydropower Generation) The Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to diversity Massachusetts’ energy portfolio by procuring cost-effective hydropower generation received support last week from three former secretaries of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Maeve Vallely-Bartlett, Rick Sullivan, and Ian Bowles. The three former officials met with Governor Charlie Baker and current Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton to discuss the need to stabilize New England’s electricity rates, meet the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) goals and provide ratepayers with a clean, cost-competitive alternative to coal and oil generation. Governor Baker said the endorsement of the former secretaries “is illustrative of the pressing need to address Massachusetts’ rising energy costs, increase electricity grid reliability and reduce carbon emissions to meet the Commonwealth’s energy and environmental goals.” Secretary Beaton said the legislation “strikes an important balance between climate and environmental awareness, and the Commonwealth’s need for clean, reliable, cost-effective generation resources.” In July, the Baker-Polito Administration filed Senate Bill 1965, An Act Relative to Energy Sector Compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act, to require Massachusetts utilities to jointly, and competitively, solicit long-term contracts for clean energy generation resources and associated transmission together with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) For more information, visit Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Governor Baker Addresses the National Society of Black Engineers in Boston
Governor Charlie Baker gave a welcoming address to the National Society of Black Engineers conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday, March 24, 2016. This is the 42nd annual conference of the NSBE, which draws over 11,000 delegates from across the country and around the world. The theme of this year’s conference is “Engineering a Cultural Change.” Here is a full BSBE conference agenda for the week. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker, said, “It is very special for us that you chose Massachusetts, as we do consider ourselves to be a national leader in education, engineering, science and medicine.” In Massachusetts, Baker said, “We basically live by our wits, that’s always been what’s made us special and what’s made us great. In this day and age, when competition is global and everybody is competing, having an edge with respect to talent and education and what I would call capacity to play makes an enormous difference.” Video Courtesy of Antonio Caban/State House News Service Here is a schedule of upcoming professional conferences and meetings taking place in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is one of 17 states to join the Accord for a New Energy Future
This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker joined 16 other governors from around the nation in a bipartisan effort to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices and a modern electrical grid. Over 127 million Americans are represented in the participating states. The Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future provides participating governors with a platform through which their states can collaborate, learn from one another, and leverage partnerships in energy planning and policy making. Governor Charlie Baker said the Accord “highlights the tremendous opportunities to create a shared clean, affordable and resilient energy future. Massachusetts will continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies such as energy storage. These efforts, and our legislative proposal to bring additional hydroelectricity and other renewable resources into the region, will ensure we meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while also creating a stronger economy for the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the Accord “allows us to collaborate with like-minded governors to create innovative clean energy policy and ensure a stronger national energy future. Joining the Accord reaffirms our commitment to diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, supporting new energy technologies, and meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.” Senior advisors to the participating governors will convene shortly to discuss initial steps to pursue their shared priorities and commitments contained in the Accord. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Accord allows “clean energy leaders to strengthen our economy, protect public health and natural resources, and increase energy security. This new commitment builds on the Commonwealth’s forward-thinking leadership in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, and addressing the pressing threat of climate change.” The Baker-Polito Administration has been working to stabilize and reduce the cost of energy for residents and businesses, strengthen the clean energy economy in Massachusetts and help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements set forth under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Through the filing of hydropower and solar legislation, the Administration hopes to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. The Administration’s 2016-2018 energy efficiency plan, recently approved by the Department of Public Utilities, sets nation-leading savings levels for both electricity and gas and is estimated to achieve $8 billion in economic, environmental, and energy benefits. The Administration also launched a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative to support the continued growth of renewable power generation and make Massachusetts a national leader in the deployment and effective use of innovative energy technology solutions. Last month, Governor Baker added $2 million in funding to the state’s electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by increasing the use of zero emission vehicles in Massachusetts. A recent update to Massachusetts’ Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 concluded that the Commonwealth is well-positioned to meet, or exceed, a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25% by 2020 through the full implementation of the Baker-Polito Administration’s energy policies. The Administration’s commitment to action on climate is also demonstrated by signing the Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment, endorsing the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under2MOU) and joining Eastern-Canadian Premieres and New England Governors in signing a climate change resolution calling for a 35-45% greenhouse gas reduction, below 1990 emission levels, by 2030. Click here to access the full text of the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future.
Mark Sullivan to Head up Mass Office of International Trade & Investment
On February 8, 2016, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development welcomed Mark F. Sullivan as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). “Mark brings a wealth of international business experience to this role,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We look forward to his contributions, as we strengthen our international office in their work with the global business community.” “Growing the Commonwealth’s economy requires strong partnerships with international companies” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development. “Mark’s leadership will enhance MOITI’s ability to attract investment from the international business community, and open overseas markets for Massachusetts companies.” “The Commonwealth is home to a growing number of international companies,” said Mark Sullivan. “I look forward to serving the people of Massachusetts, as MOITI works to unlock new opportunities for trade and growth.”
Massachusetts Files Economic Development Legislation Providing “Opportunities for All”
The Baker-Polito Administration filed legislation this week entitled An Act to Provide Opportunities for All. The bill outlines investments of up to $918 million in capital funding for local infrastructure, Brownfields site cleanup, Gateway Cities development, development site assembly and site readiness, smart growth housing, workforce development, emerging technologies, and community-based innovation. In broad terms, the legislation seeks to advance job creation and economic growth by empowering communities and regions to reach their potential, expanding workforce development efforts to close the skills gap and connect residents with economic opportunities, and investing in emerging technologies to set the stage for future job growth across the Commonwealth. Read the press release here. Governor Charlie Baker called the legislation “a platform for growth and prosperity across the Commonwealth,” and said, “Strong communities, a highly-trained workforce, and our commitment to welcoming emerging technologies will ensure Massachusetts’ continues to have a pro-growth business environment providing economic opportunities for all.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Community development and revitalization have been priorities of ours since day one, and this bill will provide new investments and tools to enable and leverage private development toward that goal.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “Massachusetts’ greatest asset is its brainpower, and this legislation provides the state’s innovators with the tools they need to create the next generation of jobs in technology and in advanced manufacturing.” An Act to Provide Opportunities for All is organized around four foundational themes: preparing communities for success, a new Massachusetts Innovation Initiative, workforce development, and economic competitiveness.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address, January 21, 2016
Governor Charlie Baker gave his first State of the Commonwealth Address on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Here is a written version of Governor’s Baker’s address.
Massachusetts Launches Comprehensive Digital Health Initiative
(Governor Baker at Children’s Hospital. Photo & video courtesy of State House News Service) Last week, Governor Charlie Baker joined public officials and business leaders from the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) at Boston Children’s Hospital to announce a comprehensive public- private partnership designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s digital healthcare industry. Governor Baker said the Baker-Polito Administration “is committed to making Massachusetts a national leader in digital health by partnering with private industry, convening key stakeholders and addressing market gaps. This emerging industry cluster has the potential to become a powerful driver of job creation across the Commonwealth, while also unlocking new advances in improving patient care and lowering health care costs.” Digital health is an emerging industry cluster identified by the Commonwealth’s economic development plan signed by Governor Baker on December 23, 2015. The digital health market is emerging rapidly, and has potential to create multiple positive effects on the state’s economic bottom line by creating jobs, attracting investment, and developing solutions, which improve healthcare delivery and ultimately can help contain healthcare costs. Known as digital health, or eHealth, the sector spans a variety of technologies such as electronic health records, consumer wearable devices, care systems, payment management, Big Data analytics and telemedicine. The fast-growing sector represents about a $32 billion market opportunity over the next decade, according to Goldman Sachs. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, “Strong public-private partnerships are what make our City, and our region, more competitive in the global economy. We know that the digital healthcare industry is Boston’s future, and I thank our state and private sector partners for their support.” To support digital health startups, the City of Boston, Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI), and MACP announced the establishment of a digital health innovation hub. The initiative will provide space, programming and strong industry network for digital health startups and will serve as a Boston “hub” for the industry. Programming through the hub will be managed and operated by MassChallenge. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said Massachusetts is in a unique position “to become global leaders in the digital healthcare sector. I am proud that the House’s past two economic development bills have supported eHealth programs because I believe this industry presents rich opportunities for Massachusetts.” Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, who led MACP’s Digital Health Initiative, said that Massachusetts, “With the strengths of our universities, academic medical centers, and life sciences companies, is uniquely positioned to succeed in digital healthcare and I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will make it happen.” Governor Baker and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, have designated the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) as the state’s implementing agency. Established in 2008 by the Legislature as a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, an economic development agency, MeHI works to promote and accelerate the use of digital healthcare, such as electronic health records and health information exchange. Governor Baker announced today that he will file legislation to expand MeHI’s efforts to include digital healthcare cluster development activities. “This initiative begins in Boston, but it’s a statewide effort, and we see real opportunities for growth in communities across the Commonwealth, including Springfield and Worcester, Lowell and other places,” Governor Baker said at the press conference.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Offers Opportunities for All
Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito endorsed and signed the Commonwealth’s economic development plan, a strategic policy document to guide the administration’s economic development strategy. Read an online copy of the economic development plan here. Governor Baker called the plan “an important statement of our administration’s priorities and values. It creates a framework for connecting residents across the state to economic opportunity, and for unlocking new business growth by pressing Massachusetts’ competitive advantage on a number of fronts.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Our administration has prioritized community development across the Commonwealth. This economic development plan reflects our commitment to promoting vibrant communities, and spurring new growth, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.” The plan is the result of one year of robust public engagement. The Baker-Polito administration hosted fourteen public listening sessions across the state, and engaged in thousands of conversations with residents, business owners, municipal officials, state legislators, academic experts, and industry officials. The Governor’s Economic Development Planning Council unanimously endorsed the plan on December 9. The key priorities of the plan include: • supporting workforce development strategies that close the skills gap, and connect citizens to economic opportunity; • promoting vibrant communities and regions; • advancing the development of key industry clusters, and harnessing cluster development to drive job growth in the Commonwealth’s regions; and • sharpening the Commonwealth’s competitive position through regulatory reform, and efforts to lower key business costs, such as energy costs. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash said, “Over the past year, I have met with residents, business owners and local officials, in communities from Williamstown to Provincetown. I am proud that their priorities and aspirations are reflected in this economic development plan, which will advance prosperity for citizens, growth for businesses, and vitality for communities.” Massachusetts law requires that each new gubernatorial administration publishes an economic development strategy within a year of taking office. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will use the policy framework set by this plan to develop and shape specific initiatives that will respond to issues, themes, and priorities highlighted in this plan.
Massachusetts Honors Companies for Jobs, Facility Growth and Investments
Congratulations to the winners of MassEcon’s 12th annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognized 18 companies for their contributions to the state’s economy. Over 400 business leaders attended the awards ceremony in Boston. Keynote speaker Governor Charlie Baker said the winning companies “demonstrated a shared vision of economic prosperity by expanding better jobs and building stronger communities across all regions and industries of the Commonwealth.” (Governor Charlie Baker addresses the audience at Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards ceremony) Since January 2014, the winning companies from across the state, ranging in size and industry, including manufacturing, life sciences, information technology, and travel, have added 2,700 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $346 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.7 million square feet, according to MassEcon. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon praised the companies “for staying and growing here, and for their confidence in the long-term future of the Commonwealth.” Among the winners was Massport, which won the Global Leader Award for its success in expanding commerce connections with the rest of the world. Through its airport and seaport facilities, Massport has helped to generate trade, tourism and travel, which accounted for $15.1 billion in total economic impact this year. Here is a list of 2015 MassEcon Economic Impact Award winners in alphabetical order. Find out more about MassEcon here. For more information about Massachusetts’ economic development plans, visit Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
Congratulations MassChallenge Class of 2015
(Caption: Pianist Brockett Parsons Performs at the 2015 MassChallenge Awards. Photo by Joanne Decaro.) Over 1,500 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, corporate executives and public officials attended the 6th annual 2015 MassChallenge Awards, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston. It was a banner night for the Commonwealth’s innovation and entrepreneurial community, as 128 finalists vied for $1.5 million in non-diluted grants. Governor Charlie Baker praised the competitors for creating “a bigger, better and different way of thinking about what is possible.” MassChallenge Boston Managing Director Scott Bailey said, “Tonight is what it’s all about – great startups and a room full of people who helped get them there.” In the end, four companies were named $100K Diamond Winners, and 12 were $50K Gold Winners. An additional 10 startups were named In-Kind Silver Winners, and two companies were selected to receive the CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space. Here is a list of the 2015 MassChallenge winners. The competition was as competitive as ever in 2015, noted MassChallenge officials, with over 2,250 startups applying to join MassChallenge accelerators in Boston and London. A highlight of the evening was a live performance by musician Brockett Parsons, who played a circular keyboard assembled by MC Finalist PianoArc. The winners join an esteemed group of alumni, which includes 835 companies from around the world. Since 2010, startups accelerated by MasChallenge have raised $1.1 billion in funding, generated $520 million in revenues and created 6,500 jobs.
MASSACHUSETTS PROMOTES MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN OCTOBER
Massachusetts celebrates its manufacturing industry throughout October with a series of events and initiatives to support the Commonwealth’s 7,000 manufacturing companies and their 250,000 workers. You can find a full schedule of activities, which includes tours, seminars and open houses, by visiting Amp it up!, the state’s advanced manufacturing program. Among the highlights of Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts. The Baker-Polito Administration proclaimed October 2015 as Manufacturers Month, stating that “Manufacturing is important not only as an economic driver of our state, but also as a key generator of innovation, product development and employment potential.” On Friday, October 2, National Manufacturing Day, the Baker-Polito opened the application process for the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program’s Workforce Development Grants. These grants will fund programs that provide training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, minorities and women, for precision manufacturing programs. Here is more information about applying. Governor Charlie Baker said it is important to recognize “the contributions that manufacturing companies and workers make to the well-being, health, safety and prosperity of the Commonwealth and to support the continued growth of this sector by helping to train new workers for available positions.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, said, “Employers frequently tell us that a shortage of skilled workers keeps them from hiring and growing. These training grants will help us connect citizens across the Commonwealth to good-paying jobs, while enabling economic growth.” On Monday, October 5, MassChallenge hosts a MADE@MassChallenge Hardware Startup Showcase which will introduce the manufacturing community to the 2015 MassChallenge hardware startups as well as up-and-coming companies from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. On Friday, October 16, the Massachusetts Export Center holds a briefing on Best Practices for Export Compliance Program Development and Management. It is a must-attend for any manufacturers interested in exporting its products. On Monday, October 26, the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium hold a forum to discuss manufacturing issues such as innovation, workforce training and funding. On Wednesday, October 28, the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) hosts the New England Manufacturing Showcase to present the unique products and capabilities of its members. In August 2015, the Baker-Polito administration made two announcements to underscore its ongoing commitment to advancing manufacturing in Massachusetts. The first was a partnership between MIT, Quinsigamond Community College, and the Commonwealth in support of the Integrated Photonics Institute in Manufacturing Innovation. The second was that Massachusetts would be a partner in the nation’s Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. The partnership includes UMass/Amherst, MIT, UMass/Lowell, Harvard and Northeastern, along with private sector companies. The Manufacturing Innovation Institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a federal competition sponsored by the US Department of Defense that seeks to advance manufacturing by connecting academic researchers with private firms. Here is more information about Massachusetts’ Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP it up!).
MassEcon Announces 21 Finalists for Annual Economic Impact Awards
MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, has announced the 21 finalists for its 2015 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. This year’s finalists represent a diverse set of companies all across the Commonwealth. They range in size and are drawn from industries such as manufacturing, life sciences, hospitality, technology, and food and beverage. Together this year’s finalists have added over 1,500 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $394 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 2 million square feet since January 2014, according to MassEcon. Each of the finalists will present a one-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges on September 16, 2015 at Nutter McLennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary for Technology and Innovation at Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. Now in its 12th year, the Impact Awards are based on the job growth, investment and facility expansion of Massachusetts companies. Winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October and recognized at an awards luncheon on November 24 in Boston. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said “We are delighted to recognize the businesses in Massachusetts that contribute so much to our state’s success. The diverse set of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the overall strength of our Commonwealth.” Here is the list of finalists for the 12th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards: WEST Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing – Lee Kennametal – Greenfield Mohawk Fine Papers – South Hadley SOUTHEAST Joseph Abboud Manufacturing – New Bedford LaFrance Hospitality Company- Wareham South Shore Millwork, Inc. – Norton NORTHEAST Aspen Technology – Bedford Bake’n Joy Foods – Ayer Energi – Peabody Jabra – Lowell Southwick – Haverhill CENTRAL GE Healthcare – Marlborough Great Wolf Lodge – Fitchburg Jack’s Abby – Framingham SanDisk – Marlborough Simplivity – Westborough GREATER BOSTON Baxalta – Cambridge Carbonite – Boston CarGurus – Cambridge LogMeIn – Boston Trip Advisor – Needham Read more about MassEcon here.
Massachusetts Listening Sessions on Economic Development Draw over 700 Residents
Lively Discussion at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester Over 700 business leaders, elected officials and community representatives from across Massachusetts came out in full force recently for a series of six listening sessions conducted by the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. The half day sessions were simultaneously conducted in Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Springfield, West Barnstable and Worcester on June 25, 2015. Topics included talent retention and workforce development, competitiveness and regulation, and zoning and infrastructure. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said that “Addressing business and community needs directly requires significant, continued engagement, and a concerted effort to understand concerns and craft effective solutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with local officials, businesses, and non-profits as we work together to grow our economy and provide every resident with the opportunity for training and employment.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, called the listening sessions “thoughtful and useful,” adding, “It was a rare opportunity to talk through complex issues and look at potential solutions with a wide range of well-informed stakeholders. The ideas we heard will help us grow the Massachusetts economy.” The purpose of the sessions was to get business and community input for a comprehensive economic development plan EOHED will begin drafting in the coming months. Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, called the discussions “lively and thought-provoking,” adding that they “will prove to be invaluable in shaping the Commonwealth’s economic development plan.” Massachusetts law requires the secretary of Housing and Economic Development to draft a comprehensive economic development plan within the first year of a new gubernatorial administration. Secretary Ash has committed to grounding the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy in public dialogue, and in regional opportunities. These regional listening sessions began a six-month economic development planning process, and serve as a first step in drafting the statutorily-required plan. Regional Directors from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development include Jon Golnik (Central Mass); Peter Milano (MetroWest and Merrimack Valley); Debra Boronski (Western Mass); Dick Dalton (Greater Boston), Maria DiStefano (Northeastern Mass) and Maria Marasco (Southeastern Mass).
Massachusetts Cabinet Secretaries Discuss Economic Development at MassEcon Conference
(L-R: Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Stephanie Pollack, Matthew Beaton, Jay Ash, Geri Denterlein and Susan Houston). Photo courtesy of MassEcon. Recently over 200 business leaders, academic executives, and public officials from across the Commonwealth gathered at the MassEcon annual conference in Newton to engage with cabinet secretaries on housing, economic development, energy, environmental affairs, transportation, labor, and workforce development. The centerpiece of the conference was a panel of the four economic development secretariats from Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration. Panelists included Secretary Jay Ash, Housing & Economic Development; Secretary Matthew Beaton, Energy and Environmental Affairs; Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Transportation; and Undersecretary Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Labor and Workforce Development. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said her group was “honored to convene the key players who will influence the Commonwealth’s economic future. Promoting economic development requires the commitment of a full team that spans agencies and offices, and this cabinet clearly demonstrates a collaborative ethic.” Geri Denterlein, President of Denterlein, served as moderator. For ongoing details on Massachusetts’ economic development activities,visit the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
MassVentures Wins National Tibbetts Award for Driving Innovation in Massachusetts
PHOTO: Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures; Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development; and Javier Saade, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation. Congratulations to Boston-based MassVentures, one of just three organizations across the United States to receive the 2015 Tibbetts Award for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). MassVentures was recognized for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Targeted Technologies (START) program, which has awarded $6 million to 27 Massachusetts technology companies over the past three years. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Chair of the MassVentures board, praised START for providing “a diverse group of high-tech companies with the resources and guidance they need to reach their potential and enjoy sustained growth. START is catalyst for our innovation economy and sends a resounding message to high-tech businesses around the world that we are creating a supportive and productive environment in which these companies can thrive.” Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, said, “By helping companies utilize their SBIR/STTR Phase II funding to grow employment and stimulate innovation, the START program shows that the Commonwealth will not sit idly by while high-tech companies wait for capital to help commercialize their technologies. It is critical that we continue to work with entrepreneurs and actively demonstrate the state’s commitment to these industries.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “The emphasis that MassVentures has placed on small business development has been vital to making Massachusetts a world leader in innovation. This administration is privileged to have such an adept investment team working to assist these developing companies.” Bird and Pham attended the awards ceremony at the White House. The award is named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the SBIR program, and is presented to companies, supporting organizations, and individuals which have leveraged, or helped others leverage, SBIR/STTR investment to generate measurable value to their firm or the nation. In addition to the three organization winners, the SBA also recognized six individuals and 23 small businesses, including Aspen Aerogels Inc. of Northborough. The keynote address at the awards ceremony was delivered by Massachusetts resident and NASA flight engineer Catherine “Cady” Coleman, an accomplished scientist and astronaut noted for her six month expedition to the International Space Station. In addition to helping high growth companies increase employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across Massachusetts, START brings together an ecosystem of companies, expert reviewers, service providers and company advisers. Companies receiving START awards during the first two years of the program have grown revenues by 20%, and have used, or will use, their START grants to secure an additional $24,000,000 in funding.
MassEcon & Governor Baker Welcome New Companies to Massachusetts
(Photo by Janet Stearns, courtesy of MassEcon) Massachusetts continues to attract new companies from around the world, as demonstrated by MassEcon’s 7th annual Corporate Welcome Reception, held recently at the Genzyme Corporate headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The event attracted more than 150 leaders from the private sector and senior state officials, led by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and his economic development team of Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development and Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development. “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success have put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive,” Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “As we continue to build partnerships with our communities and the private sector, we welcome these companies from around the nation and the globe and look forward to the opportunity to encourage more businesses to call Massachusetts home, create jobs and bolster our economy.” The companies range from both start-ups to established businesses, and their locations of origin include China, Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Ireland, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, South Carolina, New York, California and Massachusetts. They represent a variety of industries such as life sciences, technology, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and will add more than 2,000 jobs to Massachusetts. “This event is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth,” MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said. “It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the amazing network of resources Massachusetts has to offer. While there’s no magic formula for attracting and retaining business in the state, fostering a welcoming environment is essential.” Among the new companies attending the MassEcon reception: Baxter of Cambridge Cathay Pacific Airways of Boston CNR-MA of Springfield Cohealo of Boston Corbus Pharmaceuticals of Norwood Cryptzone of Waltham Driblet of Cambridge GE Healthcare of Marlborough Hainan Airlines of Boston Jabra of Lowell Mohawk Fine Papers of South Hadley Primark of Boston Pulse Secure of Westford Schneider Electric of Andover Turkish Airlines of Boston Unitrends of Burlington. Find more information about MassEcon here.
MassChallenge Launches 2015 Startup Accelerator Programs in Boston, Jerusalem and London
Governor Charlie Baker Addresses MassChallenge gathering. (Photo by Mark Steffen) Boston’s Innovation District was abuzz this week as several hundred entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials attended the launch of the 6th MassChallenge Startup Accelerator competition. This year’s announcement took place simultaneously in Boston, Jerusalem and London, which officials say is an indication of Massachusetts’ success in exporting innovative ideas. Billed as the world’s largest accelerator, the MassChallenge program selects about 200 startups each year to participate in four-month accelerators in Boston and London, where they receive a variety of support, ranging from free resources and office space to mentorship and access to global networks. A final group of finalists also compete for millions of dollars in cash awards to help build their companies. According to MassChallenge, anyone with an early-stage startup can apply for the awards, from any industry and from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports. Applications for these programs are open from February 11 through April 1, 2015. Entrepreneurs can apply here. In Boston, Governor Charlie Baker delivered a keynote at MassChallenge headquarters, expressing ongoing support for entrepreneurship in Massachusetts and praising MassChallenge as a global leader of innovation-driven economic development. “As a massive engine of job creation and economic growth, entrepreneurship makes Massachusetts great,” Baker said. “MassChallenge has an outstanding track record of attracting great startups and talent to the Commonwealth,” adding that the UK and Israel affiliates offer “proof that Massachusetts’ own unique brand of innovation is the standard for helping entrepreneurs launch and grow all over the world.” MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne said the concurrent launch in three cities “demonstrates the potential for our international network,” adding that “more entrepreneurs will gain access to the resources they need, with no equity taken.” Scott Bailey, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, announced several new initiatives, including alumni, industry and international committees to provide value to MassChallenge programs. And he welcomed several new MassChallenge sponsors, including Bühler, PepsiCo, Bose, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aetna, and Smith & Nephew. And finally, MassDevelopment is supporting the imminent launch of MADE@ MassChallenge, a makerspace for current and former start-up clients of MassChallenge. Slated to open March 10, 2015, the 5,000 square foot space with hardware and prototyping capabilities will provide entrepreneurs with expert training, equipment and office spaces with no equity taken. “MassDevelopment is thrilled to announce a grant of $200,000 to help to launch MADE@MassChallenge,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This funding will stimulate innovation by early-stage entrepreneurs and build on the partnerships between entrepreneurial companies and manufacturers in Massachusetts.” Find out more about MassChallenge here.
Massachusetts Senate Conducting “Commonwealth Conversations” in February & March
The Massachusetts Senate has launched a state wide listening tour called Commonwealth Conversations, a series of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicked off on February 4, 2015 in Western Massachusetts, and continues on Wednesday, February 11 with a public forum in Central Massachusetts being held at 6:30 p.m. at the UMass Medical School – Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building in Worchester. Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg noted recently that “the best ideas are often found not within these halls but in our neighborhoods and our coffee shops, in our board rooms and union halls, in our office break rooms and at our family tables.” In a video announcing the Commonwealth Conversations, Senate President Rosenberg was joined by Senator Bruce E. Tarr, Minority Leader of the MA Senate, and Senator Michael. J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Commonwealth Conversations. Senator Tarr said, “These forums are part of an effort to make your government even more accessible and responsive to you. State Senators from around the Commonwealth will be listening to what you have to say, and working hard to make sure they carry your voices and your ideas back to Beacon Hill.” “So that’s where your Senators will be over the next few weeks,” Rosenberg continued, “listening to your ideas, and following up on our promise of shared leadership with the people of the Commonwealth.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: February 23 / North Shore February 25 / South Shore March 2 / Metro West March 4 / Metro Boston March 11 / South Coast March 18 / Southeast For more information, visit Commonwealth Conversations web site, and follow on Twitter #MAConvos.
Governor Baker Announces $4 million grant to UMass Lowell for new research collaborative
Governor Charlie Baker announced a $4 million grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) to UMass Lowell to support the school’s new Printed Electronics Research Collaborative (PERC). The four-year grant award, part of the Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program, is being matched by $12 million in industry support. Governor Baker called the grant “another positive step forward for UMass Lowell, students and businesses across the Commonwealth…. By connecting the incredible resources in our universities with the business community, the Commonwealth will continue to stimulate economic growth and create more good-paying jobs.” Printed electronics is an emerging field with the potential to become a $76 billion global market in the next decade, according to a 2014 report by IDTechEx. It has a broad range of applications in fields including health care, telecommunications and renewable energy. UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan and MassTech CEO Pamela Goldberg joined the governor for the announcement at the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, an 84,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility on campus where PERC will reside, alongside the Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute. “Our mission is to convene industry, academia and government to catalyze economic opportunity in regions and clusters around the Commonwealth,” said Goldberg. “This project hits the mark on several fronts, including the potential to drive the development of innovative products and business growth.” “Not only does bringing our researchers together with innovators in industry stimulate economic growth, it offers our students unparalleled opportunities for experiential education,” Meehan said. “We are grateful to the Commonwealth for its investment in what we believe will be a model for academic and industry collaboration.” Among the Massachusetts companies that have signed on to participate in PERC are Raytheon, MicroChem, Rogers Corporation, SI2 Technologies and Triton Systems, with more companies expected, according to Julie Chen, Vice Provost for Research UMass Lowell.
Charlie Baker Becomes Governor of Massachusetts on January 8, 2015
(Photo Courtesy of State House News) Charlie Baker was sworn into office as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Governor Baker delivered his inaugural address to the joint session of the Massachusetts state legislature at the State House in Boston. Here is the text of Governor Baker’s remarks. Karyn Polito was then sworn in as Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth. Here are Lt. Governor Polito’s remarks. Governor Baker joins an illustrious list of governors from Massachusetts that dates back to John Hancock (1789-1793). Contact the Governor’s Office here, and follow Governor Baker on twitter.
BOSTON’S 2024 OLYMPIC BID HIGHLIGHTS SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS
Boston is going for the gold. Early next month, the US Olympic Committee (USOC) is expected to name the American city that will compete on the international stage for the 2024 Olympic Games. Boston is one of the four finalists, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Earlier this month, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston 2024 delegation presented its proposal to the USOC, and came away confident of Boston’s chances. “One of the things they look for is legacy and sustainability of a city. Really we’re in very strong shape as far as the future of the city,” Mayor Walsh said. The quest to submit an Olympic bid got underway in October 2013 when Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill submitted by state Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell to create a Special Commission that would explore the feasibility and cost of this massive undertaking. The 11-member commission vetted the key issues of cost, infrastructure, transportation, security needs, and local support, and in February 2014 came back with an affirmative decision. Mindful of the enormous amount of resources and collaboration needed and the complexity of hosting the games, the Special Commission embraced the challenges “as an opportunity to leverage an Olympics to catalyze and accelerate the economic development and infrastructure improvements necessary to ensure that Massachusetts can compete globally now and into the future.” In addition to garnering the resources, planning and collective willpower needed to carry out an Olympic event, Massachusetts can also accentuate its illustrious tradition of pride in its sports and top athletes. Massachusetts’ connection to the Olympics dates back to 1896, when the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. At that event, nine of the fourteen American athletes were from Boston, and 13 of the 20 medals awarded to the USA went to Boston athletes. The following year, in 1897, the Boston Athletic Association launched the first amateur marathon race, which has since spawned hundreds of marathons across the world. The Boston Marathon remains one of the world’s most prestigious races, with over 35,000 runners participating in 2014, resulting in a $175 million economic impact, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. In professional sports, Boston has rightly been called the City of Champions, with the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots winning a combined eight championship titles since 2000. Basketball and Volleyball were both invented in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Sports Office, which plays a supportive role in bidding on major sporting events like the 2014 Winter Olympic US Figure Skating Championships last winter, and a variety of NCAA sporting events in collegiate sports. Massachusetts is already an international destination, thanks to its world class innovation economy, academic institutions, medical facilities, and rich cultural and natural landscapes. Tourism is the third largest employer in Massachusetts with 128,000 jobs and $16.9 billion in direct spending, according to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. And Massport’s steady expansion of international air routes at Boston’s Logan International Airport continues to serve as the gateway to New England, with 76 domestic and 42 international destinations, handling over 30 million passengers each year. So best wishes to Boston 2024 as it seeks to bring the Olympics home to Massachusetts in 2024.
Invention, Innovation & Imagination: JFK’s Space Program Exhibit at Logan Airport
(Photo courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum) John F. Kennedy continues to inspire. The 35th president of the United States (1961-63) was a proud native son of Massachusetts whose leadership, vision and courage continue to inspire the nation and the world. The U.S. Space Program was one of President Kennedy’s most lasting initiatives and is the focus of a new exhibit aptly titled, “Invention, Innovation and Imagination.” The multimedia installation, a joint collaboration between the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and the Massachusetts Port Authority, is located at Terminal A at Boston’s Logan International Airport. For history lovers, the exhibit brings to bear the cold war era of the 1960s, when the United States and the Soviet Union were vying to reach the moon first. On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy appealed to the Americans’ spirit of adventure, to patriotic pride, and to the cause of freedom, saying: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” The wall graphics celebrate the innovation economy in New England by highlighting numerous innovations that resulted from the U.S. Space Program. One of the compelling elements is an audio of President Kennedy’s famous speech challenging the nation to put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. Heather Campion, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said, “Not only did his challenge to Americans and stewardship of the Space Program land a man on the moon in just eight years, but it resulted in several significant scientific advancements that are staples to us today, including GPS, protective firefighting gear and our ability to harness solar energy.” Thomas P. Glynn, CEO of Massport, said the exhibit is part of the airport’s public art program “aimed at stimulating passengers and providing a sense of place. This exhibit reminds us how President Kennedy motivated the nation to push the limits of science and technology. That motivation has continued ever since with great results here in Massachusetts.” This installation is first piece in three-phase collaboration between JFK Library Foundation and Logan Airport. Plans for future installations include visuals designed to encourage children to pursue science and volunteerism, and an installation highlighting President Kennedy’s call for global citizenship. Located in East Boston, Logan Airport is the region’s largest transportation center, generating $7 billion in economic activity each year. The JFK Library & Museum is located at Columbia Point in Dorchester preserves and provides access to historical materials related to President Kennedy and his times. For more about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Green Communities Thrive in Massachusetts
(Photo Courtesy of PV Squared in Greenfield, MA) Massachusetts is getting greener, and that is great news for the cities and towns across the Commonwealth seeking to cut energy costs that ultimately save taxpayer dollars. Just last week, state and local officials announced that 13 more municipalities received the state’s coveted Green Community Designation. The 13 new communities include Ashburnham, Belmont, Dalton, Dudley, Everett, Goshen, Halifax, Lanesborough, Millville, Pembroke, Upton, Warwick and Wellfleet. That brings the total to 136 green communities, more than half of the state’s 351 cities and towns. The Green Community Designation and Grant program is run by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEE), which rewards communities that meet five clean energy benchmarks: • Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research & development, or manufacturing facilities. • Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities. • Establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years. • Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles • Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction by adopting the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code. In addition to recognizing the new communities, Governor Deval Patrick released the program’s first ever progress report , which indicates that seven communities already in the program have achieved a 20 percent reduction in municipal energy: Arlington, Belchertown, Cambridge, Natick, Palmer, Springfield and Sutton. “Today, we mark a significant milestone, with more than half the Commonwealth’s population now residing in a Green Community,” said EOEE Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “These 136 communities have committed to locking in energy savings, protecting our environment and saving municipal energy dollars.” Green Communities grants have already supported more than 500 completed projects across the Commonwealth, projected to deliver annual energy cost savings of nearly $4 million. Once they receive the Green Communities designation, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights and a host of energy efficiency upgrades. Here is a video of Green Community participants. The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently named Massachusetts number one for energy efficiency for the fourth consecutive year. In 2007, Massachusetts had just over 3 megawatts each of solar and wind capacity installed. Today there are 699 megawatts of solar installed, with a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The Commonwealth has installed 107 megawatts of land-based wind and is poised to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Here is how to become a green community in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Launches Partnership to Connect Startups with Established Manufacturers
(Caption: Greentown Labs Executive Director Emily Reichert, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Secretary of EOHED Gregory Bialecki, MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones, Principal at Tyson Associates Mitch Tyson, and MassMEP Director of Operations Jack Healy) Photo Courtesy of Greentown Labs A new partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the advanced manufacturing industry, and the innovation collaborative space movement will create new synergies that can connect local startup companies with manufacturers. The partnership includes MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency; the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), an organization seeking to strengthen the state’s advanced manufacturing sector; and Greentown Labs in Somerville, one of the state’s success stories in creating innovative collaborative space for mixed-uses. Officials say the partnership will help startups to achieve their potential, manufacturers to increase their access/exposure to the latest technological trends, and the Commonwealth to grow its manufacturing sector. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development spoke at the announcement, and noted that the combined efforts of these three groups “will help emerging manufacturers take their ideas from concept to company.” Emily Reichert, PhD, CEO of Greentown Labs, described Greentown Labs as “a community of entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges….we want our companies to know they have many options to stay and grow their businesses here in Massachusetts.” Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment, said, “Working with Greentown Labs and MassMEP, we will make sure that clean-green companies not only continue to come up with their ideas in Massachusetts, but that they will build their companies in the Commonwealth.” Jack Healy, Director of Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, said, “The strength of the manufacturing base in Massachusetts benefits the Greentown Labs’ start-ups as they move from bench-top ideas to larger scale commercial success.” “Greentown and MassMEP will develop a network and best practices for both startups and manufacturers through a series of educational workshops and collaborative projects,” according to a blog post by Micaelah Morrill, program manager of the manufacturing initiative. This project will launch with a pilot involving 40 companies that will lead to a broader program. The new partnership is a continuation of manufacturing initiatives launched during the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick, including the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, which Bialecki says “focused unprecedented attention and resources on this critical innovative sector.” In October, Massachusetts celebrated National Manufacturing Day throughout the week with a series of events across the Commonwealth that highlighted the manufacturing industry.
Boston one of four finalists in the Audi Urban Future Initiative
Boston is one of four cities – along with Mexico City, Berlin and Seoul – competing to develop innovative solutions to mobility in the future. Known as the Audi Urban Future Initiative, this multidisciplinary exercise examines a wide range of urban challenges and possible solutions that involve new generations of technology. Congratulations to all the participants.
Massachusetts Life Sciences – Out of this World!
(Caption: Expedition 41 Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman of NASA) Life science companies based in Massachusetts have a unique opportunity to send their research to outer space, thanks to the new Galactic Grant Competition announced this month at Boston’s Museum of Science. The first-in-the-nation competition is funded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the state’s investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development, and commercialization. MLSC is partnering with the Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the agency charged with maximizing innovation and discovery aboard the International Space Station. Up to $500,000 is being awarded to the winning companies, who will get to participate in life science experiments take place on board the International Space Station. Applicants may apply between December 1, 2014 and April 3, 2015. A series of information sessions, to take place between December and February, will be announced at the end of November. “Massachusetts is the global leader in life sciences, so it is only fitting that we are the first state to promote life sciences experiments on the International Space Station,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “We are taking our spirit of collaboration to space in order to advance science, technology, education and economic development for Massachusetts and its residents.” In addition to the $500,000 research prize(s), $50,000 is being set aside for STEM educational initiatives that connect Massachusetts students to the ISS with unique content and student research opportunities. The International Space Station is an ideal research platform for life sciences initiatives, according to officials. The microgravity environment on the station has profound and unique effects on biological phenomena and can enable discoveries with terrestrial applications, including drug discovery, development, delivery, and diagnostics. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President &CEO of MLSC, said “Massachusetts is the first state that CASIS has approached about a collaboration….on the International Space Station – a one-of-a-kind platform for applied research projects that will help bring new therapies and cures to market.” Earlier this month, CASIS & Boeing awarded $200,000 each to three startups that participated in the MassChallenge competition, to test their medical technologies aboard the International Space Station. Find out more information about the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
STRENGTHENING OUR GLOBAL TIES TO CREATE GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Massachusetts Office of Trade & International Investment is hosting a forum today to discuss ways in which increased global engagement helps the Massachusetts economy grow. Featured speakers include Governor Deval Patrick, EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki, MOITI Director Rich Elam, as well as CEOs from international companies and state and local leaders from government, business and academia. Here is the Schedule of Events and speaker biographies.
Governor Deval Patrick: Transition of State Government
Governor Deval Patrick unveiled his Transition of State Government initiative with a series of transition videos to help ensure a smooth passage from his administration to Governor-elect Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to the Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor-elect and their team on winning the election,” Governor Patrick said. “Now it’s time to prepare to govern, and we hope this website will help you and all citizens understand the substance of the work of this Administration as you assume continuing responsibility for it.”
Congratulations MassChallenge Class of 2014
The 5th annual MassChallenge Awards at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston’s Seaport District this week was an inspiring event from start to finish. Guest speakers included renowned entrepreneurs and innovators Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber Technologies and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, as well as Nancy E. Frates, co-creator of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The main event of the evening was the announcements of $1.75 million in awards to the best startup companies of the year. Four companies won the top prize of $100,000 each, followed by 12 companies winning $50,000 each, totaling $1 million. And in addition, 23 other companies won a variety of prizes totaling $750,000, as part of the MassChallenge Side Car prizes. The Side Car grants were sponsored by CASIS and Boeing, the John W. Henry Family Foundation, Microsoft, MassIT and Perkins School for the Blind. Here is a full list of the 2014 MassChallenge winners. Congratulations to all of the contestants and to the winners. Prior to the event, MassChallenge CEO John Hawthorne presented a special award to Governor Deval Patrick for his work promoting innovation and technology. In fact, the governor became the recipient of the first annual Deval L. Patrick Commonwealth Innovation Award, which will be given in subsequent years to a deserving individual. Kalanick praised Patrick for helping to create an environment where companies like Uber could succeed. Schmidt echoed that praise, adding that “If you want to solve the economic problems of the U.S., create more entrepreneurs and get more immigrants in as well.” This year’s top prize winners include: Catie’s Closet, which improves school attendance and removes social stigmas by providing clothing and necessities to students living in poverty; Disease Diagnostic Group, which is creating a hand-held malaria diagnosis device; Drinkwell, which converts arsenic and fluoride water into safe drinking water; and SQZ Biotech, an MIT biotech startup that squeezes molecules into cells.
Massachusetts Ranked First in Nation for Energy Efficiency Polices and Programs
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts first in the nation for energy efficiency policies and programs in its annual state-by-state scorecard. This is the fourth straight year Massachusetts has led the nation in this coveted category. “We have treated efficiency as our first fuel because saving energy, managing costs and reducing environmental impacts while building a stronger clean tech economy helps fulfill our responsibility to future generations to leave a strong Commonwealth than we found,” said Governor Deval Patrick. See the Massachusetts Score Card Here. The Patrick Administration energy efficiency and clean energy goals were outlined when Governor Patrick first took office in 2008, when he signed the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act. In fact, ACEEE continues to highlight the Green Communities Act as a central component to Massachusetts’ achievements, since it requires the state’s investor owned electric and natural gas utilities to prepare energy efficiency plans and pursue “all cost effective energy efficiency.” Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said that “Massachusetts has made reducing our energy use a priority across state government, municipalities and in our businesses and homes.” Maggie Molina, Program Director of ACEEE Utilities, State and Local Policy, said “Massachusetts has proven that it is possible to save more energy each year while creating jobs, boosting the economy, and ensuring a cleaner environment for years to come.” “Energy efficiency’s benefits go beyond greenhouse gas reductions and lower energy costs – it has become a true economic driver in the Commonwealth,” said Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. “Because of the investments Massachusetts has made, there are more than 4,000 companies with over 65,000 workers inventing, delivering, and exporting energy efficiency technologies to national and global markets.” In September 2014, the Governor Patrick announced the 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, showing that clean energy sector now includes more than 88,000 employees and nearly 6,000 businesses. The clean energy sector in Massachusetts grew by 10.5 percent, the fourth year of double digit growth. Energy efficiency is now the job of more than 65,000 workers in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Celebrates Global Diaspora Week, October 12-17
How can immigrant communities in the United States work closely with their respective homelands to create entrepreneurial opportunities that benefit both places? That was the poignant theme of Global Diaspora Week (October 12-17), a national conversation organized by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Calvert Foundation. Diaspora is from the Greek word διασπορά, and refers to the “movement, migration or scattering of a people from their ancestral homeland.” Over 70 events took place across the nation, including several in Massachusetts, which helped underscore the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and innovative ideas prevalent in immigrant communities, according to the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance. Local Chinese leaders organized the forum, Entrepreneurship Development and Opportunities for the US Chinese Diaspora at Harvard University. Hosted by the United Cultures Innovation Center for International Cooperation (UCIC) and the Harvard US-China Economic Interaction Council (HUCEIC), the all-day conference drew over 250 entrepreneurs, business leaders, public officials, students and academics for a robust discussion and exchange of ideas. Topics included Translational Medicine in the Genomics Era, US-China Capital Market Relations and Dialogue Opportunities; and Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Education, Cultural and Tourism Industry. Organizer Xin Li said she hoped the forum would “bring the Chinese community together and let the older generation pass on their experience and wisdom to the next generation” while fostering innovation and creating social engagement. Several state and local officials participated in the conference, including Tackey Chan, State Representative; Rich Elam of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI); Kathleen Newell of the Massachusetts Export Center; and Jolin Zhou of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Local Brazilian leaders Alvaro Lima and Anselmo Cassiano organized a series of four lectures at MIT and Berklee College of Music to discuss Diggai, a new initiative that seeks to aggregate and curate the cultural products of Brazilians around the world. Leading up to Global Diaspora Week, Boston hosted its 6th annual Golden Bridges conference, welcoming a delegation of officials, entrepreneurs and tourism leaders from Northwest Ireland. Drew O’Brien, head of Global Partnerships, was a guest speaker, along with Senate President Therese Murray and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. And in September, MOITI welcomed a group from Malaysia seeking to create new business and education partnerships in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts ranks eighth in the nation for newcomers, with an immigrant population that represents over 14 percent of the population. Latino and Asian-owned businesses alone employ over 50,000 Massachusetts residents, with sales of over $7 billion. Immigrants compose nearly 20 percent of the state’s workforce. Governor Deval Patrick declared Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month, June 15 – July 15, 2014, and said, “Our immigrant communities have always been an integral part of our state’s economic and cultural fabric. 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.” Massachusetts wants to enable foreign-born, American- educated entrepreneurs to remain in the country after they graduate. The new economic development bill, An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, calls for the creation of a Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program to retain and attract entrepreneurs who are growing companies and creating jobs in the state. Administered by the Mass Tech Collaborative, the program will place selected students – who are eligible for H-1B visas but unable to get them due to a federal cap – as “entrepreneurs in residence” at public and private institutions and will ensure that they continue to contribute to the Massachusetts economy. For more about the international investment opportunities in the Commonwealth, visit Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment.
Economic Impact Award Finalists Call A “Gateway City” Home
(Caption:Massachusetts Gateway Cities. Top l-r: Lowell, Brockton, Lawrence; Bottom L-r: Leominster, Chicopee, Fall River.) (Information for this blog was submitted by MassEcon) Gateway Cities may have been overshadowed in the past by the well-known economic hubs of Boston and Cambridge, but recently, Gateway Cities have been getting more well-deserved attention for playing a significant role in the Commonwealth’s economy, both from public officials and in the private sector by organizations like MassEcon. Nearly 40% of the finalists for MassEcon’s 11th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards call one of the 26 Massachusetts Gateway Cities home: Affordable Interior Systems in Leominster; Asahi/America and Solectria Renewables in Lawrence; PlumChoice in Lowell; Crown Uniform & Linen Service in Brockton; Matouk in Fall River; Menck Windows in Chicopee; and Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield. These companies represent a variety of industries – from manufacturing to commercial laundry to bio-pharmaceutical to luxury textile industries – and, along with the 13 other finalist companies from around the Commonwealth, they have been recognized by MassEcon for their expansion, investment, jobs and community involvement. The finalist companies in Gateway Cities have made significant contributions to their communities by investing nearly $69 million in properties, expanding in more than 800,000 square feet and adding 370 jobs since January 1, 2013. Representatives from each of these companies joined the other finalists on September 17 at a reception hosted at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP where they delivered their company’s stories. Finalists will be awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze standings at the Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards Luncheon on November 25 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. These winners will be announced during the week of September 29. Click here for the latest updates. MassEcon has recognized the growth of companies in Gateway Cities with its Economic Impact Awards, and also with its ReadyMass100 program. Since launching the ReadyMass100 program just five years ago, MassEcon has gained a strong presence in 26 properties in 14 of the Gateway Cities, covering more than 604 acres and more than 2.5 million square feet. Each of the ReadyMass 100 properties has been rigorously evaluated by a team of real estate experts in concert with state partners and is certified for immediate occupancy or development. The properties have met key criteria relating to infrastructure, permitting, size and readiness. This chart illustrates the presence of ReadyMass100 properties in Gateway Cities throughout the Commonwealth: For more information regarding Gateway Cities visit MassEcon.com or contact MassEcon Senior Director Doug Kehlhem at email@example.com
Massachusetts Celebrates National Manufacturing Day
(Caption: State officials celebrated National Manufacturing Day in 2013 at Crane Stationary in North Adams.) by Marty Jones If Halloween isn’t your style of celebration, there are plenty of other holidays throughout October. You can reminisce about the contents of childhood sandwiches on National Bologna Day, step away from the computer on Information Overload Day, and bestow a personality on your beloved vehicle on National Name Your Car Day. Or, you can reserve October 3 on your calendar and join hundreds around the Commonwealth to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, a holiday that is less Mad Hatter and more nuts-and-bolts, with a real economic impact for Massachusetts. Manufacturing is the one of the largest sectors in Massachusetts, with more than 7,500 companies employing 250,000 workers. For reasons such as the recession and outdated, negative perceptions of manufacturing, this industry is often overlooked by young people and their adult influencers. That lack of awareness means that while manufacturers will need to hire up to 100,000 new workers in the next 10 years as current employees retire, today’s students aren’t prepared with the highly technical math, computing, and engineering skills required to fill the openings. These jobs pay well – an average salary of $75,000 They’re also exciting, cutting-edge career options for people looking to play an active role in creating some of the world’s most interesting products, from smartphones to wind turbines and life-saving drugs. National Manufacturing Day, which in Massachusetts is part of Advanced Manufacturing Week, can help to banish these cobwebbed perceptions of the industry and highlight the bright future in manufacturing careers. To encourage schools and manufacturers to collaborate, MassDevelopment is celebrating October 3 by launching a contest through AMP it up!, our campaign to promote advanced manufacturing as a viable and attractive career path (stay tuned that day for more details). AMP it up! matching-grant recipients are also hosting events around the state, so check out an open house, tour, or speaking program near you. MassDevelopment manages the redevelopment of Devens, a 4,400-acre community in north-central Massachusetts that has a high concentration of advanced manufacturing companies. To showcase the opportunities and work of those companies, we’re holding a mini manufacturing trade show with businesses such as Vitasoy, Eglomise Designs, FIBA Technologies, and Laddawn. Students, teachers, guidance counselors, and all those interested in manufacturing in Massachusetts are welcome to attend. So, on October 3, grab your bologna sandwich, clear your mind, and drive Pamela the Prius to one of the Commonwealth’s many manufacturing companies. You’ll find a lot worth celebrating. Marty Jones is President and CEO of MassDevelopment.
Massachusetts Proclaims Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Commonwealth of Massachusetts A Proclamation His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick Whereas: Massachusetts manufacturers are world-class companies that are an essential part of the state’s innovation economy; and Whereas: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees that distribute their products globally; and Whereas: Up to 100,00 new workers will be needed over the next 10 years to fill jobs in the Massachusetts manufacturing industry; and Whereas: The Commonwealth’s “AMP it Up!” campaign has held more than 30 career awareness and manufacturing promotional events that have reached more than 1,000 students, parents, and career counselors; and Whereas: The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative has created programs to support manufacturers Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim September 29 – October 3, 2014, to be, ADVANCED MANUFACTURING WEEK And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this week and participate fittingly in its observance. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this 29th day of September, in the year two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-sixth. By His Excellency Deval L. Patrick Governor of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Companies Continue to Expand Jobs and Enlarge Facilities
Caption: IPG Photonics Corporation is expanding facilities and adding jobs in Marlborough, (Photo courtesy of Mystic View Design) Massachusetts is helping to support businesses across the Commonwealth seeking to expand their facilities and create new jobs while using private funds. This week the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved seven projects to participate in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. The projects are expected to create 433 new jobs and retain 460 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $61 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. They include five manufacturing companies and three projects located in Gateway Cities. “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,” says Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development. “These investments will help these companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The EACC, which meets quarterly, approved these projects: Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP) Jacqueline’s Wholesale Bakery, Inc. in Salem Metrigraphics, LLC in Lowell Expansion Projects (EP) IPG Photonics Corporation in Marlborough Amazon.com.dedc LLC in Stoughton Tax Increment Financing Only Projects SMC Limited in Devens New England Peptide in Gardner Freedom Credit Union in Springfield Here are fuller descriptions of the projects. In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the EDIP program, turning it into one of the most effective programs to help business grow in Massachusetts. Since then, 204 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 14,416 new jobs, the retention of 40,911 existing jobs and leveraging of over $5.5 billion in private investment. In all, the program has assisted 111 manufacturers and supported 94 projects in Gateway Cities. For more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Massachusetts & Denmark Collaborate on Renewable Energy and Life Sciences
(Caption: Lillgrund Wind Farm in Denmark) This week Governor Deval Patrick is leading a coalition of government and industry officials on an Innovation Partnership Mission to Denmark, United Kingdom and France. The goal is to expand opportunities between Massachusetts and the European Union for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy, education and transportation sectors. Denmark was the first stop on the trip, with Governor Patrick touring the Lillgrund Wind Farm off the coast of Copenhagen, and later giving an overview of the state’s strategy for strengthening its clean and renewable energy portfolio. “Offshore wind has enormous potential off Massachusetts’ coast and we are working to ensure the Commonwealth is the national hub for this emerging industry,” Patrick said. “It is essential we establish strong relationships with industry leaders abroad so we can learn from their experience to grow the industry at home.” The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one in energy efficiency in the United States for three years running. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the industry in Massachusetts at 5,500 companies. Later that day, the governor spoke at a Life Science Innovation Partnership Forum in Copenhagen. It was a sequel to a June 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Massachusetts and Denmark’s Medicon Valley that sought to stimulate economic, industrial, technological and commercial cooperation between these two leading life sciences centers. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Medicon Valley are both centers for life sciences innovation with economies driven by entrepreneurship,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “Our strengths in industries such as life sciences and digital technologies have positioned us as a global leader, and by working together, we will ensure economic growth in our regions for generations to come.” Sophie Haestorp Andersen, Regional Chairman of the Capital Region of Denmark, described her group’s strategy to be “an international knowledge region that collaborates with the best research institutions and companies in the world. The agreement with Massachusetts is an important milestone in that strategy.” There are also important trade connections between the two places. Last year, Denmark was Massachusetts’s 40th largest export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $60.3 million in goods and services to Denmark. Denmark was Massachusetts’s 48th largest import partner in 2013, with Massachusetts importing approximately $48.9 million in goods and services, according to the Massachusetts Export Center.
Assembly Row is the New Orange
(Caption: Artists Rendering of Assembly Row) The Assembly Station train stop along the MBTA Orange Line opened this week in Somerville, and the excitement was palatable among commuters as well as business owners and state and local officials. For one thing, it was the first new station added by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in twenty-seven years; the daily projected ridership at Assembly is expected to be up to 5,400 passengers by 2030. But more so, the new train stop is a harbinger of great things to come for the $1.4 billion Assembly Row project, which is part of an exciting strategy by public officials to create unique new communities where residents have easy access to transportation, jobs, housing, and recreational and entertainment opportunities. The development will include more than 2.8 million square feet of office space, 635,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment uses, and 1,813 homes. It will feature public benefits like a waterfront park and new bike and pedestrian paths connecting existing neighborhoods with the new development. The first phase, with 448 apartments, scores of retail shops and restaurants and more, is already open. “We invest in infrastructure to catalyze private development, revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick, who visited the new station on September 2, opening day. “The new Assembly Orange Line station is a concrete reminder of what can be achieved through public-private partnership and investment in our communities.” Governor Patrick was joined at the opening by U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, who helped secure federal funds for the station, Mass DOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and other local officials. The new Assembly station is funded through a combination of federal, state and private investment. The total cost of the station is $56 million with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) contributing $25 million through a MassWorks grant, $16 million in federal funds and a $15 million investment from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of the Assembly Row project. EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki noted that “Assembly Row is an excellent example of a well-rounded development project that aligns our jobs, housing and transportation needs to better serve our residents. Through these types of collaborative efforts we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.” To learn more about the Patrick Administration’s strategy for economic growth through investments in innovation, infrastructure and education, go to Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.
United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine Features Massachusetts
Check out the September 2014 issue of Hemispheres Magazine, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. There is a 15 page spread devoted to Massachusetts in its Dossier series, which features an “in-depth overview of a region, including the unique initiatives that shape its industry and commerce as well as its influence on today’s global economy.” Both Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh are profiled in the issue. The supplement describes Massachusetts as “one of America’s favorite places to do business,” and says that Governor Patrick “leaves a state that ranks among the leaders in everything from student achievement to economic competitiveness and entrepreneurial activity.” A number of state officials are cited in the publication, including Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development; Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences, James Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport, and Robert Caret, President of the University of Massachusetts. Among the Massachusetts companies featured are the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, Raytheon Company and Partners Healthcare. In April 2014, United Airlines opened a new concourse at Terminal B at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Governor Patrick said at the time, “With increased customer service and convenience, United’s presence in Terminal B will continue to make Boston a top destination for domestic and international travel.”
Collaborative Workspace Grants Available to Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities
(Photo: Collaborative Workspace at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville) Entrepreneurs have an exciting new opportunity to create collaborative work spaces in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth. Thanks to the Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund, entrepreneurs can apply for up to $2 million in matching grants to own, sponsor or operate collaborative workspace. State officials believe these spaces help spur business growth and economic activity in Gateway Cities. “Collaborative workspaces inspire communities of innovation,” says Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “These shared environments are hubs of economic activity, and are a very important part of our overall growth strategy.” The Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund, totaling over $16 million, is part of An Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth, which Governor Deval Patrick signed into law on August 13, 2014. Managed by MassDevelopment, the Fund enables equity investments and technical assistance to support transformative development in Gateway communities. “The sharing economy has driven demand for flexible, dynamic workspaces, especially in Gateway Cities,” says Marty Jones, MassDevelopment President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing the spaces that will spring from this first phase of the Transformative Development Initiative.” Interested applicants can access the Request for Proposals for the grants, which can be used for construction, improvements, or equipment for new spaces or for existing facility expansions. Collaborative workspaces often feature open floor plans, community meeting spaces, and other features to encourage connections between tenants. Earlier this spring, Housing & Economic Development staff held workshops across the state to familiarize prospective developers, operators, funders and public officials with collaborative space opportunities. Gateway Cities are defined as having: a population greater than 35,000 but less than 250,000; a median household income below the state average; and a population whose rate of attainment of a college degree is below the state average. Massachusetts’ new economic development plan has been praised recently by Inc. Magazine for supporting “business communities outside of the traditional business thoroughfares of Boston and Cambridge.” And Fortune Magazine praised Massachusetts for creating “a model based on public-private partnership, a promising blueprint other states should follow.”
Twenty-two finalists Compete for MassEcon’s 2014 Economic Impact Awards
(Caption: Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development) Excitement is building for this year’s 2014 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, presented annually by MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, MassEcon announced the twenty-two companies that are finalists for the award, representing five regions of the state: West, Southeast, Northeast, Central and Greater Boston. They range in size and are drawn from various industries like education, robotics, manufacturing, life sciences, energy, consumer goods, information technology and advertising. “We are thrilled to recognize the businesses in Massachusetts that contribute so much to our state’s prosperity,” says Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon. “The range of industries and regions represented by this outstanding group of companies demonstrates the overall strength of our Commonwealth.” On September 17, the finalists present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth to a panel of judges and business leaders. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, is a featured guest at the event. “These Team Massachusetts finalists are making significant contributions to our state’s economy,” says Bialecki. “I applaud these companies for their investment and look forward to our ongoing partnership as they continue to expand and create jobs here in Massachusetts.” The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October, and presented with their awards on November 25 at a luncheon in Boston at which Citizens Bank is presenting sponsor. Here are finalists by region: WEST: Menck Windows – Chicopee Nuclea Biotechnologies, Inc. – Pittsfield Sinicon Plastics, Inc. – Dalton SOUTHEAST: AccuRounds, Inc. – Avon Crown Uniform & Linen Service – Brockton Hydroid, Inc. – Pocasset Matouk – Fall River SolarCity – Pembroke NORTHEAST: Asahi/America – Lawrence Entegris, Inc. – Bedford Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. – Burlington Solectria Renewables – Lawrence PlumChoice, Inc. – Lowell Toxikon Corporation– Bedford CENTRAL: AIS, Inc. – Leominster Pall Life Sciences – Westborough Quest Diagnostics – Marlborough GREATER BOSTON: Biogen Idec, Inc. – Cambridge EF Education First – Cambridge Havas Media/Arnold Worldwide – Boston Pfizer, Inc. – Cambridge uniQure – Lexington Best of luck to all of the finalists! To learn more about Massachusetts’ economic development strategy, visit the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
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 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.
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.
Framingham State University Opens Entrepreneur Innovation Center
(Caption: Official Opening of the Entrepreneur Innovation Center, April 22, 2014) By Dr. Robert Krim There has been a recent wave of shared workspaces designed to support start-up companies and spur economic growth popping up largely in Cambridge and Boston. But until recently, no center for innovation existed in the Framingham-Natick region along Route 9, despite it being a global hub for high-tech and Fortune 500 companies, such as Bose, Staples, Boston Scientific, and MathWorks. To fill this void, Framingham State University (FSU) has launched an Entrepreneur Innovation Center designed to serve local entrepreneurs who don’t want to travel into the city. The official opening of the Center took place on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and was attended by Framingham State Interim President Dr. Robert Martin, along with college officials and students, local public officials and business leaders from the region. “MetroWest is the perfect location for a center like this one, to assist in the birth of new companies and new opportunities for students to learn what it takes to launch a business,” according to Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland. “The timing is perfect for a public campus such as Framingham State to raise its profile as a center for innovation.” The Center’s workspace, located in the Maynard Building right off Route 9 in Framingham, features large windows looking out onto the town’s 300-year-old Village Green. It provides local entrepreneurs space to work on their innovative business ideas and access to FSU student interns and faculty. It’s an exciting resource that stands to benefit the entire community. For a $95 fee per month, entrepreneurs and students receive access to a shared workspace with afternoon snacks and espresso, free parking, and weekly visits from a variety of lawyers, investors and accountants to help these one-person firms gain the knowledge they need to succeed in the first tough years. Dr. Erastus Ndinguri, an FSU professor who holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship, serves as the Center’s Assistant Director. There are already six entrepreneurs and seven student interns working out of the facility, half of whom are women and half who are recent immigrants to the United States. The average age of the entrepreneurs is 32. The group includes Raghu Nandan, who is launching Soltrix Technology Solutions, Inc., which provides custom software design and development services. “The center has been a valuable resource for me already and I look forward to being a part of it for a long time to come,” Nandan said. Anyone interested in receiving more information about the Innovation Entrepreneur Center can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.framingham.edu. *** Dr. Robert Krim is Director of the Entrepreneur Innovation Center and also oversees the University’s Entrepreneurship academic concentration. A MetroWest native, Dr. Krim was the founder and director of a Boston-based research partnership focused on what drives innovation in the Greater Boston region.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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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