March 1, 2021

Pandemic tossed fledgling Berkshire Innovation Center ‘right into the water.’ There was a positive ‘flip side.’

The center’s first year didn’t go the way anybody thought it would. But, Sosne believes that, still, the first 12 months have been fruitful for the two-story 23,000-square-foot facility at the William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires.

“We hoped to have bustling events and live things here at the BIC,” Sosne said. “But, on the flip side, there was no better way for us to learn what we’re doing, if our goal is to help companies rapidly innovate and rapidly prototype and learn new technologies and adjust and be nimble.”

The center contains classroom, meeting and conference space interspersed with laboratories and high-tech equipment, and it is one of the Berkshires’ most important and most-debated economic development projects over the past decade. A $3 million funding gap delayed the start of construction for three years. But, with in-person development on hold because of the pandemic, the center adopted a more virtual model during its first year of operation and used its facilities to assist local companies after the pandemic disrupted their normal operations.

The Baker-Polito Administration has committed nearly $12.5 million towards the project through a $12 million allocation from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the approval of $450,000 from MassDevelopment.