Massachusetts, MITRE Launch the Massachusetts Innovation Bridge
New Partnership Will Connect the Commonwealth’s Innovators to Federal Agencies and Solve Federal Challenges
BOSTON – Today Governor Charlie Baker announced the launch of the Massachusetts Innovation Bridge, a partnership between the Commonwealth and The MITRE Corporation, a public interest nonprofit that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. The Innovation Bridge will help federal agencies solve the nation’s most difficult challenges by tapping into the world-leading innovation and high-tech ecosystem in Massachusetts, while creating new business opportunities in the Commonwealth.
Through the Innovation Bridge, federal agencies will create new relationships with innovative academic institutions, thought leaders, established companies, and with companies that previously did not work with the federal government. Together, they will discover innovative ideas, products, and services to enhance federal agency missions. The new collaborative workspace will also give Massachusetts companies, higher education institutions, and nonprofits access to new federal business opportunities.
The partnership with MITRE will also strengthen the Commonwealth’s military installations, by building on the existing connections between the innovation economy and state military assets such as Hanscom Air Force Base, Natick Soldier Systems Center, and Joint Base Cape Cod.
“Massachusetts is the most innovative state in the nation, and we are uniquely equipped to forge connections between private-sector innovators and the Department of Defense," said Governor Baker. “The Massachusetts Innovation Bridge will be an important piece of connective tissue in our state's innovation ecosystem. This first-of-its-kind workplace will foster deep collaboration between Massachusetts researchers and innovators, and mission-driven federal partners hungry for innovative solutions.”
"For the Air Force, we really see diversity as mission critical,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We need to broaden our partnerships to include non-traditional companies to ensure we can access cutting-edge technology and ideas."
The Innovation Bridge, located at CIC Boston, will be a first-of-its-kind collaborative business portal. The Innovation Bridge will provide a dedicated space for leadership forums and workshops, technology scouting, and venture capital portfolio and university research exchanges. The Innovation Bridge will also stage hackathons and crowd-sourcing opportunities, and host events to educate entrepreneurs about federal acquisition and emerging simplified acquisition opportunities.
MITRE will provide a dedicated senior executive to lead, plan, and coordinate the Innovation Bridge’s mission and operations. The Innovation Bridge’s operations will be underpinned by MITRE’s deep technical expertise in areas critical to the nation and Massachusetts.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, and the lead agency supporting the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, will provide convening capability, office space and administrative support for the Innovation Bridge.
The Massachusetts National Guard will also offer connections to military leadership and the high-tech industry. The Innovation Bridge held its first event today, an industry forum, in collaboration with Secretary of the United States Air Force Deborah James.
“Massachusetts leads the nation in innovation, and it’s important that we strengthen the relationships between federal agencies and our local businesses, universities, and researchers,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “These partnerships are good for the federal government, and they help build opportunities for businesses and institutions here in the Commonwealth.”
“In the 21st century, the technologies that are transforming our world are coming from Massachusetts,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “From life sciences to high technology to advanced manufacturing, everyone wants to be a part of our amazing ecosystem of innovation and ingenuity. The Massachusetts Innovation Bridge will be an incubator for the ideas, discussions and networks that will solve our greatest challenges, connecting the wealth of Massachusetts’s research, military and educational assets to the federal government. I commend Governor Baker and the MITRE Corporation for their partnership in building this new critical infrastructure.”
“Our region has earned an enviable reputation as a magnet for innovation thanks to our unparalleled concentration of world-class universities, federally-funded research facilities, trailblazing tech companies and our talented workforce,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Giving the federal government greater access to this leading innovation ecosystem by building a ‘bridge to innovation’ will create new business opportunities for local companies and universities, and will help federal agencies better leverage the rapidly advancing high tech landscape. The Governor’s Military Task Force, MassDevelopment and MITRE deserve credit for turning this pioneering idea into reality. And, I appreciate Secretary James’s support and partnership, which combined with the Innovation Bridge announcement, is recognition of the widespread economic and national security benefits that our region readily provides.”
“Massachusetts is the home to world class universities, renowned research facilities in multiple sectors and dynamic technology innovators,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “By facilitating a partnership between non-governmental entities and state and federal government agencies, we will foster new opportunities for collaboration, job creation and research based economic growth.”
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to leaders in academia, business, defense, and the high tech sector who consistently work together to advance our innovation economy,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “By directly connecting Massachusetts’ businesses and organizations with our federal agencies through the Massachusetts Innovation Bridge, the Commonwealth’s private sector can innovatively address the challenges facing our public sector. I give great credit to Governor Baker, MassDevelopment, and the Governor’s Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force for being the driving force behind this important initiative.”
“These partnerships underscore the vital contributions of the Commonwealth’s ecosystem of innovation,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “By connecting the federal government to our world-class research, innovators, businesses, and universities, we are solidifying our role as a national leader in the 21st century economy.”
“The convergence of government and technology is critical to meeting the needs of a 21st century economy,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “The Massachusetts Innovation Bridge partnership is an example of why this is the case. This partnership will connect the federal government with world-leading innovation and high-tech centers to address our needs. It will also solidify our state’s role as a leader in the innovation economy and strengthen our capacity to help develop advanced national defense solutions.”
“We’re excited to partner with the Commonwealth to bring the Innovation Bridge to life and provide a unique venue to bridge between federal agencies and the vibrant Boston innovation ecosystem,” said Peter Sherlock, MITRE senior vice president. “Our public interest mission, conflict-free charter, technical skills and labs enable us to work on behalf of our federal sponsors to harness the region’s strengths and address the nation’s hardest challenges.”
“The Innovation Bridge provides direct access for federal agencies to the nation’s leading innovation ecosystem, and vice versa,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to working with MITRE, military installations, and other government, business, university and federal lab organizations such as the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and MIT’s Lincoln Labs to build new relationships and expand opportunities for the Commonwealth’s established and entrepreneurial economic drivers.”
About the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force
Housed within the Office of the Governor and supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, the Task Force coordinates among the Commonwealth’s six military facilities to maximize their efficiency. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to six military installations with more than $13 billion in total economic activity and support for nearly 58,000 jobs, including Hanscom Air Force Base, Natick Soldier Systems Center, Joint Base Cape Cod, Fort Devens, Westover Air Force Reserve Base and Barnes Air National Guard Base.
About The MITRE Corporation