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Spring 2013
A Newsletter from the UMass Office of Economic Development
A Message from the President
Conducting World-Class R&D
Technology Commercialization & Entrepreneurship
Developing Future Talent
Economic Analysis for the Commonwealth





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Health and Social Sciences Building

UMass Lowell

Opening Spring 2013

  Health and Social Sciences Bldg   

More details here 






Life Science Laboratories

UMass Amherst

Opening Spring 2013 

  Amherst Life Science Laboratory      

More details here 








Integrated Sciences Complex

UMass Boston

Opening mid-2014

  UMB Integrated Sciences Bldg     

Press Release 









 Tom Chmura

Vice President for

Economic Development



Doug Banks

Associate Vice President for Economic Development



 UMass Donahue Institute

Lynn Griesemer

Executive Director;

Associate Vice President for Economic Development


 Commercial Ventures & Intellectual Property (CVIP)

William Rosenberg

Executive Director



 Mass. Tech Transfer Center

Abigail Barrow







UMass Amherst  

James Capistran

Executive Director, UMass Innovation Institute



 UMass Boston

John Ciccarelli

Associate Vice Chancellor for Govt. Relations & Public Affairs



 UMass Dartmouth

 Paul Vigeant

Associate Chancellor for Economic Development



 UMass Lowell

 Renae Lias Claffey

Director, External Relations for Research Development



 UMass Medical School

 James Leary

Vice Chancellor,

Community & Govt. Relations







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InnovationSpotlight is an electronic newsletter
designed to highlight research and development, 
innovation and technology across the University of Massachusetts and its five campuses and their
impact on the Commonwealth's innovation economy.

Investing in Infrastructure for Innovation 


President Caret
President Robert L. Caret


Dear friends of UMass:


As the only segment of public higher education in the Commonwealth with a dedicated research mission, the University of Massachusetts is in a unique position to serve all regions of the state with innovative ideas and highly skilled talent.  We are a major driver of the innovation economy in many ways: developing nationally significant centers of research, commercializing technology, generating licensing income, and starting new companies with a Massachusetts presence.  We are also driving the economy through our investment in the infrastructure that undergirds the scientific discoveries of tomorrow.


Over the past decade, we have spent $2.4 billion on capital improvements in all regions of the state, providing our students, faculty and staff with state-of-the-art facilities that enable them to achieve at the highest levels.  We are slated to spend an additional $3.1 billion over the next five years to ensure that our University's facilities continue to match our reputation as a world-class institution; UMass placed 42nd in the world - and was the 10th highest-rated public university in the United States - in the Times of London's recently released 2013 World Reputation Rankings.


Key facilities that we have recently invested in, or are currently developing, include:

  • UMass Amherst's Life Sciences Laboratories
  • UMass Boston's Integrated Sciences Complex
  • UMass Dartmouth's Mass. Accelerator for Biomanufacturing
  • UMass Lowell's Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center
  • UMass Medical School's Albert Sherman Center


Last month, we sold $284 million in construction bonds at extremely favorable rates to help finance a new phase of construction and renovation.  The three major credit-rating agencies all cited the sound management practices at UMass and our emphasis on efficiency in awarding the university its strong ratings.  For example, Standard & Poor's noted our rollout of cost-saving initiatives "including a focus on operational efficiencies and lowering the cost of education delivery."  And Moody's said: "The university remains committed to ongoing expense reductions, including the Trustees' Efficiency and Effectiveness Task Force and a focus on cost efficiencies related to purchasing, energy efficiency and information technology services."


I am extremely pleased that the ratings agencies and investors have taken note of our focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.  But more importantly, I'm happy to report that, at a time when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is looking to us to be a catalyst for innovation and economic development we are investing in the ideas and the infrastructure that will drive the Commonwealth's innovation economy long into the future.




Robert L. Caret



TIME Names Luzuriaga as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Katherine LuzuriagaWorld

TIME Magazine presented its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in April, and UMass Medical immunologist Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga has made the list for her research in functionally curing a newborn of AIDS.  Dr. Luzuriaga, professor of pediatrics and medicine, was part of a team of researchers that reported the first case of a so-called "functional cure" in an HIV-infected infant.  The infant described in the report underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth.  The investigators say the prompt administration of anti-viral treatment likely led to this infant's cure by halting the formation of hard-to-treat viral reservoirs.  The finding may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children. 

Read more from Time Magazine



Innovation Institute Forging Commercial Links

The UMass Innovation Institute (UMII) is accelerating connections between advanced science and technology available in campus laboratories at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and private business.  UMII helped Amherst achieve a record-setting $14M in industry R&D last year.  Its most recent initiative is a five-year strategic partnership with BASF, the world's leading chemical company, to develop new advanced materials for the automotive, building, construction and energy industries.  View the press release.

Read more from Automotive World


Holly YancoLowell's Holly Yanco Named 'MHT Woman to Watch'

UML Computer Science researcher Holly Yanco was named among the 2013 "High Tech Women to Watch" by Mass High Tech.  The regional news organization cited Yanco's role as director of the UML's robotics lab focused on Human-Robot Interface as well as the opening earlier this year of NERVE, the New England Robotics Validation & Experimentation Center. Yanco is a two-time awardee of the President's Science & Technology Initiatives Fund.  UMass Amherst microbiology researcher and Qteros co-founder Susan Leschine has also been named an MHT High Tech Woman to Watch.

Amherst Campus Developing Life Sciences Strategy 

The Amherst campus has completed a process to identify the intersection of the campus's research strengths and interests, and the needs of the life sciences industry to produce significant Massachusetts impact.  Over the past nine months, more than 150 people from over 100 companies across the life sciences and non-government groups and more than 90 faculty members and university administrators have met in 13 community workshops and in more than 50 internal university meetings.  As a result of the strategy sessions, the campus will be making a formal request to the Mass. Life Sciences Center (MLSC) for a $95M investment in a life sciences facility focused on university-industry R&D collaboration.  For more information on the $308K capital grant from MLSC that enabled the growth strategy sessions, read more from last fall's press release.


UMass Med School's Sherman Center Opens 

The UMass Medical School enters a new era of biomedical research, medical education and campus collaboration with the opening of the $400 million, state-of-the-art Albert Sherman Center, home to Nobel Prize-winning research and a cornerstone of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, with the help of $90M from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Sherman Center was unveiled to the public on January 30, 2013 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Deval Patrick.  Read more on The Albert Sherman Center website.


UMass Dartmouth Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research Opens

In January, UMass Dartmouth announced the creation of the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research, which will promote the high-level interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary development of innovative and powerful computational tools to address pressing scientific and societal challenges.  Read the full Press Release.


UMass Lowell NERVE Center Now Open

The New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center located at UMass Lowell opened in February and will serve as "proving ground" for robots - a place where these complex machines will undergo rigorous testing to prove their strength, durability, design and functionality, and in the process, help accelerate robotics research and development across the region. 

Read more from UMass Lowell News


MLSC Awards $4.5M to MGHPCC for Big Data  

The Mass. Life Sciences Center (MLSC) awarded a $4.5M grant that will enable the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke to expand its capacity for life sciences-related research and data analysis.  The investment will build on an infrastructure for large-scale data analysis that is already in place in Holyoke and was created by  strong partnership among academia, industry and the Commonwealth.  BU, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and UMass Amherst and Worcester have teamed up, to create this computing resource.  The funds, announced in February, allow the MGHPCC to create a cloud-based resource for data-driven biology and an industry-access program for regional startups.


UMass Lowell Collaborates with Natick Labs

Researchers from UMass Lowell and their counterparts from the US Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), known locally as Natick Labs, will be working as part of a new research and development initiative called HEROES-- Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers.  The effort aims to enhance military members' survivability, sustainability, mobility, combat effectiveness and quality of life in the field.

Read more from UMass Lowell News


Cyber Security, Forensics Center Formed at UML  

To help strengthen our country's cyber defenses and protect national security, jobs and privacy, UMass Lowell merged its Center for Network and Information Security and its Center for Cyber Forensics to form a new Center for Internet Security And Forensics Entrepreneurs (I-SAFE).  Its mission is to research and develop cyber security and forensics theory, techniques and toolkits that play a critical role in public safety and security response by federal and state law enforcement and national cyber-defense forces, including the military, according to I-SAFE Director and faculty member Jie Wang.


Director Hired for UMass Boston Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy 

The Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Boston has hired its first director: Dr. Jill Macoska.  Dr. Macoska has accepted an appointment to the Alton J. Brann Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Science and Mathematics at UMass Boston and will direct the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy,  a collaboration with the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.  It is funded by a $10 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.


Dr. Macoska comes to UMass Boston after an outstanding tenure at the University of Michigan.  Since 1994, she has been a faculty member, researcher, and administrator of programs in Cancer Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan Medical School.  

Read more from the VDC Newsletter 

UMass Researchers Add to 'Water Technology' Mission to Israel 

Representatives from UMass Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell joined researchers, industry representatives and Mass. government and economic development officials on the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel in December.  The purpose of the trip was to develop relationships for business development, investment, R&D Collaboration and government agreements; to learn best practices regarding cluster development and go-to-market strategies; and to attract Israeli startups to the Commonwealth.  More information is available online.



SSTI names Abi Barrow as a "Woman Leader in Technology-Based Economic Development"

Abi BarrowAs the Founding Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC), Dr. Abigail Barrow was named as one of State Science and Technology Institute's (SSTI) "Women Leaders".  As SSTI recognizes, women leaders have played an integral role in the development of technology-based economic development.  These women have broken barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields and led some of the most progressive initiatives designed to boost our nation's competitiveness.  Dr. Barrow is honored to receive this recognition.  As director of the MTTC, Dr. Barrow is responsible for the overall management and development of its programs. 

Read more from SSTI Weekly Digest


CVIP Awards 8 Tech Development Grants

UMass Commercial Ventures & Intellectual Property made 8 awards at $25K each to faculty members to advance University technologies toward commercialization.  The Technology Development Fund awards these "proof of concept" grants to fill the gap between research and commercialization.  The grants made included: 3 at Worcester, 2 at Lowell, 1 each at Amherst and Boston, and 1 joint Lowell/Worcester.  The fund is supported by license earnings and a grant from President Caret.  Since its creation in 2004, previous awards have helped in the formation of 4 new companies, 5 new licenses, and over $3M in sponsored research. 

Read more in the Press Release.


UMass Lowell Start-up Anterios Raises $4.7M

Anterios Inc., a UMass start-up, has raised $4.7 million or more than 70% of a $6.6 million mixed offering of shares and options, according to an SEC filing.  In 2010, the nanotechnology company closed a $1.5 million equity round.  Founded in 2006, Anterios manufactures delivery system based on nanotechnology to administer drugs and cosmetics.  The firm was formerly known as Encapsion Inc.

Read more from Citybizlist


UMass Amherst Spinoff Qteros Restarted

Qteros, the biofuel company that grew from discovery of the Q Microbe by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has been revived by three of the company's original founders and is primed for success with a new, less capital-intensive business model, says CEO Stephan Rogers of Amherst.


UMass Co-Sponsors Incubator Conference

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) held its annual conference in Boston in April, featuring 600 attendees from 40 countries.  The UMass system was an official co-sponsor of the conference and had a strong presence throughout the multi-day event, including a panel on the five unique incubators with UMass ties across the state, as well as two other speaking panels during the conference.  Additionally, the NBIA organized tours of local incubators, including the UMass Boston Venture Development Center, which hosted more than 100 tour attendees.


UMass Amherst Startup Texifter Acquired by Canadian Co.

A cloud-based text analytics software developed by UMass Amherst faculty member was purchased by a Vancouver company in January.  The technology sifts huge amounts of text, such as documents, tweets and e-mails, making it easier to locate, classify and segment information using various parameters, according to a news release by UMass Amherst.


M2D2 Names Med Device Startups as Venture Competition Winners  

The startup behind a low-cost, power-adaptable phototherapy device to cure babies with jaundice, the provider of a lab service to physicians and hospitals for cancer diagnosis and monitoring and the developer of a point-of-care diagnostic device have been named the 2013 winners of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) New Venture Competition.  Since it was founded in 2007, M2D2 has helped 23 startups, awarded $50,000 to medical device researchers and opened an incubation Hub with newly renovated labs and office space.

Read more from Bioflash

UMass Boston Unveils MassTech Intern Partnership

The UMass Boston Venture Development Center (VDC) has been contracted by the MassTech Intern Partnership to develop the training program for students interested in partnerships.  It is modeled after UMass Boston's Student Entrepreneur Program (StEP), which is a program designed for students interestd in building a career in the entrepreneur economy via events, workshops, seminars, mentors, and paid internships.  StEP has placed 110 students into an elite group of venture backed startups in Massachusetts.  The MassTech Intern Partnership seeks to retain the outstanding talent that passes through the Commonwealth's universities and colleges and to support the growth of the dynamic tech sector.  Companies and students can apply at Mass. Technology Collaborative


UMass Med Ranked #9 in Primary Care Education  

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) finished near the top of its class in US News & World Report's 2014 "Best Graduate Schools" issue.  UMMS ranked 9th in primary care education out of 126 medical schools and 23 schools of osteopathic medicine surveyed for the 2014 edition.  The school also came in at #46 for top research schools and #46 in the biological sciences.

Read more from Go Local Worcester


UMass Amherst STEM Diversity Institute Gets $1.6M NIH Grant  

A new institute at UMass Amherst focused on science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives has received a four-year, $1.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) will use the award to fund one-year internships for post-baccalaureate students from "underrepresented  groups" with an interest in biomedical and behavioral research.

Read more from Bioflash


Donahue Institute to Study Absorption & Retention of Boston Area Graduates

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has contracted UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group to provide an analysis of the Boston area's capacity to retain its many college graduates and young educated workers.  The study will measure the number of college graduates produced by Boston and Boston area schools and the number of younger, college-educated people (25-34) in the region, as well as examine additional factors influencing retention such as available jobs, housing and quality of public schools.  Part of Boston's competitive advantage is the large share of people with bachelor's degrees (and higher) and this study will help determine whether or not Boston can or should absorb more college graduates and young, educated workers.



UMass Ranks as 3rd Largest Mass. Employer

UMass now ranks as the state's 3rd largest employer with a total employment of 17,400 (actually a decline from 2011 when the university employed 17,600). In 2011, UMass ranked #4 behind MGH, Stop & Shop and Harvard. 
The top 10 for 2012 are:
  • MGH - 24,000
  • Stop & Shop - 23,000
  • UMass -17,400
  • Steward Health Care - 17,000
  • Harvard U - 16,800
  • Brigham & Women's Hospital - 15,000
  • UMass Memorial Health Care - 14,800
  • MIT - 14,100
  • Raytheon - 12,400
  • State St. Corp - 12,300

This is the highest UMass has ever ranked in this listing, and it is further evidence of the critically important role that the University plays in the economy of Massachusetts.


Springfield Business Leaders Briefed on Regional Economy by Donahue Institute

In February, UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) director Dan Hodge spoke to 575 attendees of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield Outlook 2013 luncheon about the regional and state economies.  He discussed the Pioneer Valley's industry strengths and investments that could provide a foundation for the region's future growth.
Read more on the UMass Donahue Institute Press Room and in BusinessWest  

MassBenchmarks Tracks Economic Recovery

The Donahue Institute continues to track and report on the latest trends and outlook for the Massachusetts economy.  Specifically, in late April, the latest Leading Index Briefing was released.  This Index is based on economic data through the first three months of 2013 and reported that major state economic growth indicators performed well in the first quarter.  In addition, MassBenchmarks, the leading quarterly publication on the state economy, jointly published by the Donahue Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, has provided its quarterly Economic Due Diligence Report for the Massachusetts Treasurer's Office, reporting on the economic and financial condition of the Commonwealth in support of bond issuances.
Read more from Boston Globe  

Donahue Institute Market Analysis of Rail-Served Site in Brockton

The Metro South Chamber of Commerce has asked the UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group to conduct a preliminary market analysis of the 31-acre site which lies along the rail corridor in downtown Brockton. The study will focus on if and how the site could be used and developed for freight-related purposes, such as a rail yard, warehousing space or a manufacturing facility through an examination of the site's layout and geography, real estate markets and freight rail activity on the rail corridor, while also considering other productive uses that could be combined with freight-related activity at the site (e.g., on-site solar energy, other green infrastructure, etc.).
To learn more about the University's Economic Development efforts, please call 617-287-4087