Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Tuesday announced more than $3 million in grants to support life-sciences-related capital projects in the MetroWest region, including $3 million for Framingham State University to fund major lab renovation projects.
Through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences ecosystem. To date the MLSC has awarded more than $330 million to support life sciences-related capital projects across the state, creating thousands of jobs and more than 1.3 million square feet of new education, research and manufacturing space.
“Supporting innovation propels our economy forward and prepares our workers for the 21st century global marketplace,” said Gov. Patrick in a statement. “Our innovation economy relies on a well-educated, well-skilled workforce, and these grants will expand opportunity and grow jobs in the MetroWest region.”
The $3 million grant awarded to Framingham State University will fund laboratory renovations to support Life Sciences workforce development and training, as well as research and development.
Framingham State University intends to utilize the lab expansion and renovation to provide additional biology and chemistry teaching and research laboratories, to enhance their capacity to support STEM academic programs and meet workforce readiness goals, and to upgrade existing infrastructure.
“We know that Massachusetts companies are in need of highly educated science and math graduates,” said interim Framingham State President Robert Martin. “The Hemenway Hall expansion and renovation project will have a transformative impact on the University’s STEM programs by providing our students and faculty with access to state-of-the-art science classrooms and laboratories. This generous grant from the Massachusetts Life
Sciences Center is the final piece of the puzzle that will allow us to complete the project as we envisioned it several years ago.”
Framingham State University is celebrating its 175th year and Martin said he couldn't think of a better present than a $3 million grant.
"This is really a shot in the arm for the university," said Martin.
“A key strategy of the Life Sciences Center is to use our capital dollars to enable the creation of unique resources that are available to the Massachusetts life sciences community, and this innovate project at Framingham State University and the planning that is underway at MassBay Community College are great examples of that,” said Dr.
Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
Click on the attached video to hear more of what Windham-Bannister had to say during the Tuesday press conference.
Also on Tuesday, MassBay Community College received a $50,000 planning grant to develop a robust strategic action plan for the Applied Life Sciences and Technology Center to be housed within the downtown Framingham campus, that is currently in its design phase utilizing a $22.1 million capital appropriation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
“State universities and community colleges, like Framingham State University and MassBay Community College, and the three high schools we are recognizing today play major roles in training the next generation of our state’s life sciences workforce, and they ensure that training for innovation economy jobs is inclusive and available all across the state. Our grants help ensure that these schools can provide students with first-rate training
facilities," said Windham-Bannister.
“The life sciences sector is key to future job growth and economic development, and these grants will drive MetroWest forward as a leader in biotech education and research,” said Sen, Karen Spilka, who represents Framingham. “These two important projects at Framingham State and MassBay are preparing students to join the STEM and life sciences
workforce and are terrific examples of innovative research and entrepreneurship in our community.”
"These two grants to Framingham State University and MassBay Community College in Framingham will greatly enhance the MetroWest's commitment to the life sciences. It’s an incredible commitment from the Commonwealth to assure our continued leadership in the Biotech field and strong employment in the life sciences," said Framingham State Rep. Chris Walsh in a press statement.
Three MetroWest-area high schools were authorized to receive equipment and supply grants from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
- Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School for $40,000
- Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School for $100,000
- Waltham High School for $100,000