Two new grants totaling over $5.2 million from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) will support the development of new advanced manufacturing technologies at Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater, MA) and Stonehill College (Easton, MA), allowing researchers to develop cutting-edge technologies and boost collaboration between private sector companies and the state’s top academic research institutions.
The grants awarded include $3.8 million to fund a new integrated photonics training facility that will be co-led by Bridgewater State University and Stonehill College, where funding will support the creation of a facility for students training to be technicians or engineers in integrated photonics, a field that is revolutionizing industries. This will be the third Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) for integrated photonics in the Commonwealth, joining facilities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) and a collaborative project between Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI; Worcester, MA) and Quinsigamond Community College (also in Worcester), both projects supported by M2I2.
Reportedly, 10 percent of the Commonwealth’s total economic output is tied to manufacturing, and Massachusetts companies exported $26 billion in manufactured goods in 2016 alone. Roughly 250,000 employees work in the Commonwealth’s manufacturing sector, comprising 7.8% of the total workforce in the state.
The new awards from the M2I2 program bring the total invested to nearly $60 million to date, boosting advanced manufacturing projects throughout Massachusetts and supporting critical research and development infrastructure and workforce training programs. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative co-manage the M2I2 effort.
M2I2 co-invests in four of the national manufacturing institutes under Manufacturing USA, areas where Massachusetts can play a leading role globally. The Bridgewater/Stonehill Project is supported by AIM Photonics and the HSI grant by the national NextFlex institute (flexible hybrid electronics), with additional M2I2 projects supported by the ARM institute (robotics) and AFFOA (advanced functional fabrics) which is based in Cambridge, MA.
For more information, please visit m2i2.masstech.org.
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