The variety of projects the stimulus program funds is breathtaking in its range - from road projects to anti poverty agencies to schools to energy saving projects and everything in between.

But it is the stimulus awards to private companies that could have some of the most long lasting impacts on the economy in terms of industry growth and job creation. Recently, at the behest of Governor Deval Patick, Jeffrey Simon, director of the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, paid a visit to MicroMagnetics, a Fall River-based high tech company, to see the impact stimulus awards are having on this company.


MicroMagnetics develops commercial applications of spintronics, a relatively new technology which combines the fields of magnetism, electronics, and nanotechnology. Dr. Gang Xian started the company in 1998 with the goal of commercializing this technology that he had developed in his lab at Brown University.

The company eventually moved to the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River, a business incubator that is part of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. As the company grew, it moved to another location in Fall River and then moved, in 2009, to its current location on Airport Road in Fall River.


MicroMagnetics received three stimulus awards: A $500K award from the National Science Foundation; a $300K award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and an award from the Department of Energy. Its amount has not yet been finalized but the company anticipates that its value will be approximately $1 million.

"Without the government's support, this would not have been possible," said Dr. Xian, referring to the company's new headquarters and its ability to support seven employees. Its current project, developing highly precise magnetic sensors has applications in several markets including semiconductor manufacturers, cell phone manufacturers, precision devices and equipments, university, government and industrial labs and oil drilling companies.


According to Dr. Xian, the company is anticipating the production of 100,000 units of the sensors by next year and plans on hitting the million number mark within two years. Dr. Xian said that as MicroMagnetics ramps up to achieve those goals, they will need to hire 20 additional employees.

Recovery Act Impact: MicroMagnetics

  • National Science Foundation award: $ $500K

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology award: $300K

  • Department of Energy award: $1 million (anticipated)

The decision to settle in Fall River was based on its proximity to local talent - University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, Brown University and Providence College are all close - as well as the affordable real estate. Dr. Xian said the company makes an effort to outsource its work to local companies to help the local economy. He also hires interns from the local high school and employs local science teachers and helps them develop their science curriculum.

"We are settled here," he said. "It's a nice area and the cost of doing business is low. We are generating manufacturing jobs and improving the employment situation of college graduates here."