North Shore InnoVentures, (NSIV) one of New England's leading technology incubators and business accelerators, announced today that it has received a capital grant of $1.65 million from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The grant will allow NSIV to expand its current laboratory facilities over the next three years and purchase advanced analytical instrumentation. This grant is part of a larger $5 million award to the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore (LSCNS), consisting of Endicott College, Gordon College, North Shore InnoVentures, North Shore Community College and Salem State University, and will fund major lab/facility and equipment upgrade projects at the member institutions and organizations.
The Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore was established in 2012 to foster expansion of the regional life sciences industry and provide collaborative industry support to help train a highly skilled workforce for the life sciences industry.
"In order for Massachusetts to continue to create jobs and prosper, we must train our workers for the jobs of the 21st century global economy, and provide spaces where early-stage companies can succeed," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Our innovation economy relies on a well-educated, well-skilled workforce, and these grants will expand opportunity and grow jobs on the North Shore."
North Shore InnoVentures operates technology business incubators to nurture innovative early-stage companies and support sustained economic growth in the North Shore region. NSIV focuses on cleantech and life sciences, two of the strongest technology clusters in Massachusetts. The incubator provides creative business acceleration services that increase the success rate for early-stage companies and their investors.
"North Shore InnoVentures has become a thriving part of the life sciences ecosystem on the North Shore, and this funding will enable NSIV to provide much-needed additional space and equipment to attract more early-stage companies to the region," said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. "We are pleased to provide this capital funding to the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore, both for the expansion of NSIV, and to help academic institutions in the region better prepare students to compete successfully for jobs in our state's fastest-growing industry sectors."
"We are very grateful to the Mass Life Sciences Center. This grant will allow us to offer both aspiring students and promising entrepreneurs access to some of the industry's most sophisticated - and widely used - analytical instrumentation for their research," said Martha Farmer, President & CEO of 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."
The planned equipment purchases with MLSC funding will strengthen the Consortium's cell imaging and cell-based analytics capabilities, as well as its mass spectrometry, tissue engineering, drug development and enabling technologies, and establish a next-generation sequencing center.
"A number of leading instrumentation companies like Waters, Olympus, Sage Science, Bio-Rad, EMD Millipore, Life Technologies, and Thermo Fisher Scientific are providing expertise in identifying instrumentation that is most widely used in the life sciences industry, while maximizing the purchasing power of the Consortium members," said Farmer. "All of the industry partners have pledged their support in training students, faculty, and industry employees by having staff scientists and technicians provide seminars on instrument theory, use, and applications."
NSIV will use its funding to expand its facilities, building out two new labs over two years and adding to an existing lab to accommodate an additional four to five companies. Equipment funds will be used to acquire new capabilities in digital PCR, flow cytometry, cell imaging, mass spectrometry and next-generation sequencing.
"We believe that new investors and entrepreneurs will be attracted to the North Shore because of our vibrant and growing life sciences cluster, including many startups as well as anchor companies in the region. We can now offer the advantages of access to cutting-edge instrumentation at LSCNS facilities, a highly trained local workforce and the relative affordability of operating a business in the area," concluded Farmer. "This capital grant will directly stimulate young life sciences companies, creating an estimated 200-300 jobs incrementally on the North Shore by 2017, with positive effects on the Massachusetts economy lasting years beyond the funding period."