For Immediate Release - March 29, 2010


Consortium of academic collaborators expands as team announces preferred sites; partners announce financial commitments necessary to break ground this fall

HOLYOKE - Monday, March 29, 2010 - Continuing his investments in job growth and development for Western Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick today announced both the designation of the Holyoke Innovation District as the 20th Growth District in Massachusetts and up to $25 million from the state to move forward on the construction of Holyoke's High Performance Computing Center (HPCC). Combined with commitments from academic partners, the University Consortium, a total of $65 million in funding will be leveraged to move the project forward towards its groundbreaking this fall, the Governor said during an address to the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce this afternoon.

The HPCC project will support long-term job growth and create a world-class, green, high-performance computing center in the city. The Center will provide an infrastructure for research computing in life sciences, clean energy and green computing, a collaborative research agenda, and will catalyze the development of an innovation district in downtown Holyoke, powered by green and cost-competitive energy.

"These investments are critical to ensuring that the High Performance Computing Center will move forward to support job growth and advances in innovation, technology and research," said Governor Patrick. "This groundbreaking project will serve as the anchor of a competitive and vibrant growth district in the Pioneer Valley."

"By designating and investing in the Holyoke Innovation Growth District, our administration in collaboration with our regional partners continues to make significant strides to advance the City of Holyoke, the region and the entire Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "As we explore opportunities for long-term growth and job creation, this growth district will support the development of the high performance computer center and also serve as a catalyst for future economic development."

"I applaud the Governor and the consortium for their work on this important project for Holyoke and the region. With the computing center and the innovation district, the area is poised to become a magnet for green and high technology businesses, bringing jobs and invigorating the economy," said Congressman John Olver.

Today's announcement delivers on the work first started by a collaboration between the Patrick-Murray Administration, private partners EMC and Cisco, the City of Holyoke, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the University Consortium comprised of MIT, the University of Massachusetts and Boston University. Northeastern University recently announced it has joined the Consortium, which has pledged $40 million towards construction of the facility. Next month, the University Consortium intends to begin a search for an executive director to lead its efforts in moving the project towards completion.

"On behalf of Presidents Hockfield, Brown and Aoun, I want to thank the Governor for his leadership and support of up to $25 million in state funding to this facility," said University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson. "We believe this strategic investment will provide real benefits to our research universities in their role as economic engines for the state, the City of Holyoke and the Commonwealth as a whole."

Over the last 120 days, the project partners, through a collaborative planning process, have determined that it will move forward with due diligence on two proposed sites, Mastex and Open Square, with a final decision expected late spring or early summer. Both sites are within the newly designated Holyoke Innovation Growth District and eligible to benefit from Growth District Grant funds.

"Today's announcements regarding the High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke and the designation of Holyoke as a Growth District show Governor Patrick's continued commitment to this region of the Commonwealth. These two announcements mean investment, economic growth and new jobs for my constituents," said Representative Michael F. Kane.

"I would like to thank Governor Patrick for his time and dedication to this project. I am also very thankful to the partners who have made a commitment to build this state-of- the-art Green High Performance Computing Center in downtown Holyoke," said Mayor Elaine Pluta. "We are really looking forward to the economic benefits that this facility will spin off as well as how it will help jump start our revitalization efforts currently underway. I know Governor Patrick has dedicated many hours and staff in ensuring that this project is a success."

The project will also move forward with the release of an RFP for design and engineering services with an anticipated start date of early May 2010, and the formation of a non-profit corporation to oversee operations in the HPCC.

Private partner Cisco has also signed an agreement with the City of Holyoke to become the company's first "Smart+Connected Community" in the United States and to develop a new pilot for the "Neighborhood of the Future" in the city. By working collaboratively toward a common vision of Smart+Connected Communities, the city and Cisco intend to use technology to deliver urban services in an innovative way in order to generate new economic opportunity, improve the delivery and quality of education and bolster population retention.

Updates on the Holyoke High Performance Computing Center and the Holyoke Innovation District can be found on the project website:


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