For Immediate Release - February 13, 2008

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES $4 MILLION FOR LIFE SCIENCES INITIATIVE AT UMASS LOWELL

Capital Bond Funding will Help Spur Economic Development in Region

BOSTON - Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - Governor Patrick today announced the University of Massachusetts Lowell will receive $4 million to help spur growth of the life sciences industry throughout Greater Lowell and the Commonwealth.

The funding will help the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center to establish a new facility in Lowell. The center, also known as M2D2, is a partnership between UMass Lowell and UMass Worcester that works with companies around the state to move innovative new medical devices from concept to market.

"I'm delighted to join in announcing this next step in the growth and of the life sciences in Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "We are proud to continue our partnership with UMass Lowell and our private partners in developing the innovation infrastructure we need to move new ideas into cures, creating new companies and new jobs along the way."

The funding will come from a bond authorization that has already been approved by the Legislature. The state commitment of $4 million will combine with private, federal and local funds for this project.

M2D2 is a resource for the state's smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts. Project coordinators at the center provide access to UMass Lowell's extensive expertise and facilities in medical device engineering, product design, prototyping and manufacturing. UMass Lowell is establishing an on-campus innovation center that will house this life sciences initiative.

"By funding this home for UMass Lowell's Medical Device Development initiative, the Governor is helping to grow the life sciences economy. The Governor and I are committed to boosting this sector of the life sciences 'supercluster' - one that can lead to jobs, and new state revenue, quickly," said Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, chair of Senate Ways and Means.

"This investment in UMASS Lowell is one that will pay huge dividends," said Representative Tom Golden. "The medical device industry is ripe with potential for job growth and economic activity and these funds will allow M2D2 to be up and running in a matter of months. This is huge for our area and we thank the governor for his support."

"I want to thank Governor Patrick for investing in this economic growth opportunity that we believe will go a long way in making UMass Lowell the economic engine of the region," said Representative David Nangle.

"I congratulate Governor Patrick for his leadership in this area," said Representative Kevin Murphy. "This funding is great news for UMass Lowell and the city as we continue growing the life sciences industry in Lowell."

Through M2D2, plastics engineering and medical experts, working with a steering committee of industry veterans and venture capital managers, guide companies through the pipeline from idea to production. M2D2 is co-directed by UML's Stephen McCarthy, a Ph.D. and professor of plastics engineering who holds nine patents and is the founder of the nanotechnology-based company Encapsion, and Dr. Sheila Noone, UMass Worcester's director of clinical research.

"The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center is an example of the University of Massachusetts' important role as an economic engine in the Commonwealth-the Center is a life sciences collaboration that brings together industry partners with the considerable strengths of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It benefits Massachusetts citizens by helping develop new medical instruments and products that improve the health and lives of our residents and assisting Massachusetts entrepreneurs as they start and expand companies in our Commonwealth. We sincerely appreciate the support that Governor Patrick and leaders in the Senate and House have shown for the Center," said Jack M. Wilson, President of the University of Massachusetts.

"By committing funds to this project, the Patrick Administration is walking the walk when it comes to stimulating the life sciences industry," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "This facility will be fully functional within months of receiving the funds, serving as a prototype itself for the state's proposed 'regional innovation centers,' which are intended to generate jobs in the life sciences sectors."

"This funding will provide the physical capacity for M2D2 to assist medical device companies in Massachusetts to make it through the 'valley of death' - developing viable products from proof of concept to commercialization," said Stephen McCarthy, co-director of M2D2 and UML professor of plastics engineering.

"M2D2 is a model for harnessing the science, intellectual assets and clinical passions of UMass to help stimulate the life sciences in the state," said Sheila Noone, co-director of M2D2 and director of clinical research of UMass Worcester.
 

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