Baker-Polito Administration, MassDevelopment Announce Over $2 Million for Collaborative Workspaces

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The Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment announced $2,155,000 in funding for the third round of Collaborative Workspace Program grants, a MassDevelopment program that accelerates business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally-based innovation.

Eligible organizations may apply for either seed grants to plan and study the feasibility of new collaborative workspaces, or fit-out grants to develop and expand existing workspaces.

Through its first two rounds of grants, the Collaborative Workspace Program provided $3 million in funding to more than 50 organizations for the planning, development, and build-out of different types of collaborative workspaces. This new round includes $1.5 million from the Commonwealth’s capital budget and $655,000 from the Barr Foundation, the second installment of a three-year $1,965,000 grant to the program to expand support for arts-related collaborative workspaces in the Commonwealth.

“Through our 2016 Economic Development Legislation, our administration implemented the Collaborative Workspace Program to enable investments in community-based innovation infrastructure to provide entrepreneurs across Massachusetts with the resources to turn ideas into businesses,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Throughout the Commonwealth, participating communities are making progress in creating welcoming and productive spaces. We look forward to investing further in our state-wide innovation ecosystem.”

“Funding awarded through the Collaborative Workspace Program has helped advance community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “Thanks to continued support from the Baker-Polito Administration and the Barr Foundation, MassDevelopment is thrilled to kick off a third round of grants that will provide even more organizations with the resources they need to create or enhance collaborative workspaces in their community.”

MassDevelopment’s continued partnership with the Barr Foundation broadens the reach of the Collaborative Workspace Program to include the creative sector, a critical source of innovation and positive community change.

“Collaborative workspaces are hubs of creativity for entrepreneurs, artists, and other creatives to find new tools, collaborators, and resources. The ideas, projects, and enterprises that emerge have enormous potential to foster greater vibrancy, innovation, and economic activity in neighborhoods, and keep Massachusetts at the forefront of innovation,” said San San Wong, Arts & Creativity Program Director at the Barr Foundation.

Proposals are due in electronic format via email at cowork@massdevelopment.com by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018. Funding decisions are expected to be announced at the end of September.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.