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Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Announce $5 Million in Capital Grant Funding for the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore

MA Life Sciences Center

Grants to Colleges and Incubators will fund Lab/Facility and Equipment Upgrades in North Shore region

Beverly –March 28, 2014 –Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) today announced a $5 million capital grant for the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore (LSCNS), which consists of Endicott College, Gordon College, North Shore InnoVentures, North Shore Community College, and Salem State University.  The grant will fund major lab/facility and equipment upgrade projects at the member institutions and organizations.

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.

“Thanks to our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, Massachusetts is now the global leader in the life sciences,” said Governor Patrick.  “Making investments that will modernize these institutions will help shape the future of this region by better preparing students for the workforce needs of a global economy.”

In 2012, the LSCNS was established to foster expansion of the regional life sciences industry. The Consortium aims to address the challenge that early-stage companies and teaching institutions face in financing the purchase of high-end instrumentation by pooling resources and building shared infrastructure, based on the specific strengths of the various institutions. Access to a diversity of key instrumentation will serve as a catalyst for product development and facilitate training of a highly-skilled workforce for the life sciences industry in the region.

The $5 million MLSC grant awarded to the LSCNS will permit expansion of current facilities and purchase of advanced instrumentation for use by students, faculty, and companies on the North Shore.  The economic impact of this project will include: helping to create and fill high-quality life sciences jobs in Massachusetts; better preparing the workforce for those jobs; increasing accessibility to and enrollment in STEM majors; and affording early stage companies in the region’s life sciences cluster access to bioinstrumentation through the Beverly-based incubator run by North Shore InnoVentures, enhancing their potential for growth and success.

“The key strengths of the Consortium are the proximity of the institutions to one another, the willingness by each member to coordinate and share resources, and the advice of area industry to help shape academic curricula,” notes Dr. Gene Wong, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Endicott College.  “The capital grant from the MLSC will allow each institution to build upon their major strengths that will take academic research to a new level, give students broad training and career options, and give startup companies the resources to accelerate their development.”

“This grant will allow  us to offer both aspiring students and promising entrepreneurs access to the some of the industry’s most sophisticated – and widely used - analytical instrumentation for their research,” said Martha Farmer, President and CEO, North Shore InnoVentures.  “The innovative technologies and startups in our incubator will strengthen the region’s biotech cluster, creating good jobs for these students and contributing to Massachusetts remarkable competitive advantage in this burgeoning field.”

In addition to the grants announced today, two North Shore area high schools received equipment and supply grants from the MLSC this past December:

 - Essex Technical High School, Middleton – $139,950                     

 - Lynn Classical High School, Lynn – $99,998.23  

These high school grants are critical for providing the STEM pipeline of students that may directly enter the workforce or go on to higher education institutions.        

“The life sciences sectors are now the fastest job producers in Massachusetts so a key strategy of the Life Sciences Center is to use our capital dollars to ensure that students all across the Commonwealth are prepared to compete successfully for these jobs,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. “The Colleges in this consortium, and the two high schools we are recognizing today, play major roles in training the next generation of our state’s life sciences workforce.  The Center’s grant will help these schools provide students with first-rate training facilities.  Our funding also will be used to expand incubator space in the region for early-stage companies.”

“This grant is a significant investment for the life sciences in the region, matching the contributions of our industry partners and what we have done at Endicott with our new Science Center,” said Dr. Richard Wylie, President of Endicott College.  “This type of government, academic, and industry partnership will ensure that students will be well-trained to be highly productive at internships and in life science careers.”

"NSCC will utilize the generous funding from the MLSC to upgrade fundamental scientific equipment to provide our students with the critical foundational laboratory skills they need for workforce entry and success or transfer to four-year institutions. Our students will also benefit by taking higher-level courses at consortia institutions and gaining exposure to the life science opportunities available on the North Shore through interaction with industry partners," said NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile. "It is our hope that these changes will result in increased accessibility to life science courses, improved hands-on experiences that will benefit both students and future employers, expanded internship opportunities, and a more seamless transfer experience."

“This support validates higher education’s critical role in preparing the future workforce in the disciplines necessary for life science innovation,” said Dr. Pat Meservey, President of Salem State University. “The collaboration between North Shore industry and academic institutions will create important new research and classroom opportunities for our faculty and students and help Salem State build on our foundation of quality STEM education.”

"This grant helps validate Gordon College's commitment to a serious study of the sciences," said President Michael Lindsay. "Our Ken Olsen Science Center is a first-rate facility named for one of New England's pioneers in innovation. The new equipment funded through this generous grant will expand the capabilities of Gordon student-faculty collaboration on research and study in the life sciences. We want to be a 'player' in training the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs, and we look forward to this strategic partnership."

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences.
For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

 Grant recipients of the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore (LSCNS)

 From left to right:  Dr. Gene Wong, Endicott;  Richard Stewart and Matthew Playdon, NorthShore Community College students;  Ellen Moriarty, Lynn Classical HS,Dr. Michael Lindsay, Gordon; Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, MLSC; Dr. Martha Farmer, North Shore InnoVentures; Dr. Patricia Meservey, Salem State; Senator Bruce Tarr; Dr. Patricia Gentile, NSCC; Dr. Richard Wylie, Endicott; Maryellen Rancourt, Essex Technical HS, Mayor Michael Cahill, Beverly.

 Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister of MSLC

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC announces the grant. 

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