For Immediate Release - October 05, 2010


Private partners contribution brings support for landmark project to $80M; positions Massachusetts as global leader in next generation of computing technologies

HOLYOKE - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today joined Congressman John Olver, Mayor Elaine Pluta, Jack Wilson, President of the University of Massachusetts, Susan Hockfield, President of MIT, Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University, Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC, Bruce Klein, Executive Vice President of Cisco, and representatives from Harvard University and Boston University to mark the beginning of construction of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke's Innovation District.

Originally announced by the Governor in June 2009, the project will support long term job growth and create a world-class, green high performance computing center in downtown Holyoke. The Center will also 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 powered by green and cost-competitive energy.

"I serve as Governor of the whole state, and am committed to unlocking possibility and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth. That is exactly what we are doing right here in Holyoke today," said Governor Patrick. "The center represents the largest investment in the city in over 50 years, and promises to be a magnet for innovation and job creation for years to come."

"This groundbreaking marks a strong collaboration with our regional partners, as well as the private sector to invest in new job opportunities and innovative technology," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Through forward thinking and by working together, the MGHPCC supports a growing IT industry and economic development for the City of Holyoke, the Pioneer Valley region, and the Commonwealth."

"This center has taken the very best that high performance centers today have to offer and packaged those qualities into a single, extraordinary project. The promise of this investment lies not within the physical walls of the HPCC itself, but in the opportunities it creates outside of those walls," said Congressman John Olver.

"It is great to see yet another landmark step forward for this project. I am glad the Patrick-Murray Administration has shown continued commitment to this and other projects in the region, and look forward to the jobs, innovation, and other benefits the Holyoke High Performance Computing Center brings to Holyoke and surrounding communities," said Representative Michael Kane.

"On behalf of City of Holyoke, I want to thank and congratulate Governor Deval Patrick and the Consortium for locating the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke," said Mayor Elaine Pluta. "The GHPCC is the catalyst for the transformation of the Holyoke's industrial core into the Innovation District that will have tremendous positive economic development impacts for Holyoke and the region. I want to thank Holyoke Gas & Electric Department for all of their efforts to position the City to be able to host the GHPCC and to attract other technology sector businesses."

Today's groundbreaking delivers on the work begun by a collaboration between the Patrick-Murray Administration; the City of Holyoke; the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; the University Consortium comprised of MIT, the University of Massachusetts, Harvard, Northeastern University, and Boston University; and private partners EMC and Cisco. Additionally, EMC and Cisco collectively pledged $5 million towards construction of the facility, adding to the $75 million already committed by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Consortium. 

"Market-focused innovation is the lifeblood and growth engine of economies and companies," said Joe Tucci, EMC's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We at EMC are proud to be part of this public-private partnership. We envision the Holyoke High Performance Computing Center serving as an incubator for next-generation technology and the foundation for more rapid economic development in the region. In fact, we expect the Center to become a new engine of transformational innovation in our state that will attract more technology companies and their talented people to the region."

"It is with great pride and excitement today that Cisco is announcing a financial contribution of $2.5 million to further propel the development of this project. Cisco is very fortunate to be one part of such an innovative and diverse team that is focused on harnessing the power of collaboration to drive forward the innovation agenda in Massachusetts by utilizing new breakthroughs in technology to support the next wave of research. Holyoke is certainly a fantastic example of what is possible when leaders from across the community come together with forward-thinking federal, state, and local government and technology partners to create a vision for an innovative community, region, and state. We strongly believe that this work and this facility will ultimately enable a new cloud-driven approach to research and administrative computing that will attract the best and brightest, serve as a new model for future academic endeavors in this region and beyond, and streamline communications and collaboration processes in higher education - all with the aim of driving sustained innovation and growth," said Cisco Senior Vice President Bruce Klein.

The MGHPCC project will be built on the Bigelow Street block in downtown Holyoke within the city's Innovation Growth District. Local project partner Holyoke Gas & Electric acquired half of the project site last month, and complete site acquisition will be completed in October. The MGHPCC Corporation, composed of the University partners, has signed a purchase and sale agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric to acquire the site upon completion of site preparation.

"With this project, we are seeing five of the Commonwealth's major universities come together in unprecedented fashion to advance the pursuit of knowledge and to help drive the Commonwealth's knowledge-based economy," said UMass President Jack M. Wilson. "This is an important partnership and one that augers well for the future. I want to thank Governor Patrick for the vital leadership he is showing. I know that this project and the other projects that will follow in its wake will serve to solidify the Commonwealth's leadership position in the global innovation economy."

The University Consortium has also hired interim executive director John Goodhue to leads efforts in moving the project towards completion. Goodhue has an extensive background in the technology industry and is dedicated to fully realizing the collaborative vision of the project.

Cisco is also collaborating with the City of Holyoke to develop one of the first "Smart+Connected Communities" in the United States to underpin social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the city. Cisco plans to unveil the details of its cooperation with Holyoke later this month.

The Patrick-Murray Administration's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development also announced that it is co-sponsoring a series of Holyoke innovation networking events with the city's business community. Open Square will host the nights, to be organized by Holyoke entrepreneurs Brendan Ciecko, Zach Dunn, Sam Dunn, Kip Foley, and John Aubin. The events will bring together innovation leaders from Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley with leading technologists from throughout the Northeast.