December 19, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Expansion of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives in Worcester

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joins state and local officials for unveiling of ‘MBI Champions Wall’ to recognize construction progress on life sciences incubator’s expansion

Worcester— Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) President and CEO Travis McCready, leaders from the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and state and local officials at the site of MBI’s expansion to celebrate construction progress of the redeveloped facility, which will double the operational capacity for the life sciences incubator. The gathering also served as an opportunity to unveil the “MBI Champions Wall” which recognizes the numerous stakeholders who have contributed to the success and growth of the Central Massachusetts’ life sciences cluster.

“The Worcester success story keeps on building,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “MBI has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of this success story. This Administration’s investment in MBI is one of several key initiatives we strongly believe will support advances in human health, accelerate innovation in the areas of clinical and translational research, and expand the capacity of life sciences development and job growth across the Commonwealth.”

This past April, the MLSC announced $30 million in capital grant funding to support life sciences sector. In total 11 projects received funding, including a $3.5 million project at MBI. With this funding, MBI will redevelop 17 Briden Street within Worcester’s Gateway Park by establishing additional incubator space, which will include a “ScaleUp Center” for growing incubator companies. The MLSC recently launched several new and returning capital funding opportunities, including programs focused on innovation in the delivery of existing or novel therapies, data science, and women’s health. This funding will catalyze new partnerships between non-profits and industry, or deepen existing relationships, as teams tackle pressing life science challenges.

“I am very happy that the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives has received grant funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to support and expand technological innovation and incubation in Central Massachusetts. Worcester has become a hub for the Biotechnology, Medical Device, Informatics, and Biomanufacturing industry whose innovations have improved lives and forwarded scientific progress nationwide,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester).

“This investment in MBI builds upon the success already taking place throughout the city of Worcester and across the region,” said MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready. “While other states are focused solely on propping up their major metropolitan areas, we have been provided the advantage to leverage the people, places, and partnerships to look beyond Greater Boston and build out regional life sciences clusters. Worcester and its continued success exemplifies this strategy.”

MBI will operate 25,000 square feet of a renovated facility to expand its business incubation operations. The project includes 28 additional suites for startup companies and supporting office spaces. Construction has recently begun on the renovation project. As one of the first life sciences incubators in the Commonwealth, MBI is currently home to more than 30 life sciences companies, having “graduated” another 95 companies since 2000, which employ approximately 825 people in the local life sciences cluster in central Massachusetts.

“We greatly appreciate MLSC’s investment in this project which will complement the continued growth of the regional life sciences cluster,” said MBI President and CEO Jon Weaver. “Worcester offers a great opportunity for early stage startup companies, and we’re truly excited to see how those companies will innovate healthcare within this space.”

“I could not be more pleased to see the expansion of MBI in Worcester”, said Representative John J. Mahoney (D-Worcester). “The House has supported biotech’s growth across the Commonwealth, and I am encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive impacts that this industry, including MBI, bring to our community.”

“I want to congratulate Jon Weaver and MBI on this announcement, and thank Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for their support in the City of Worcester,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty.  “Biotech and the life sciences are providing the jobs of the next generation and the future economy.  I want to thank the state for their continued commitment moving our city forward.”

“The development of a thriving life sciences cluster in Worcester has been a major catalyst of continued economic development in our city and throughout the Commonwealth,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “Congratulations to Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center on this significant expansion of incubator space at Gateway Park to foster the growth of even more life sciences companies.”

The inclusion of a ScaleUp Center will provide MBI the ability to create 10 lab suites of around 1,000- 3,000 square feet for growing companies. This space will serve as a bridge for those companies to grow and sustain their business models and prevent the financial and logistical stress that can cause companies to struggle and fail, by leaving the incubator environment before they are ready.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an economic development investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts, home to the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world.  Through public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, education, research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics and digital health.  Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed over $700 million in Massachusetts, through a combination of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives and workforce programs.  These investments have created thousands of jobs and propelled the development of new therapies, devices and scientific advancements that are improving patient health and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.

About Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives

MBI is a private, independent economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for life science and healthcare innovation. We help start biomedical companies and create jobs within the Biotechnology, Medical Device, Informatics, and Biomanufacturing industry by providing secure, clean bench and sink surface, staff trained and fully licensed laboratory space for usage by “seed stage” companies. Building and maintaining collaborative affiliations and partnerships are essential to our success.