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





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 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

 Steven Tello

Associate Vice Chancellor,

Entrepreneurship and 

Economic Development



 UMass Medical School

 James Leary

Vice Chancellor,

Community & Govt. Relations







MassMEDIC's Annual MedTech Investors Conference


November 1, 2013

Campus Center

UMass Boston








Global Cleantech Meetup 2013


November 12 - 14, 2013

Seaport World Trade Center

200 Seaport Blvd, Boston

  Cleantech Meetup    

In partnership with

UMass and

Mass. Tech Transfer Center


Register Here 







November 13, 2013

Gillette Stadium



Sponsored by

Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Mass. Business Roundtable and

UMass Donahue Institute


Learn More 








December 13, 2013

Microsoft NERD


  MassTLC Logo     

In partnership with 

Mass. Tech Transfer Center


Register Here 




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Life Science Laboratories

UMass Amherst


  Amherst Life Science Laboratory      

More details here 









Integrated Sciences Complex

UMass Boston

Opening mid-2014

  UMB Integrated Sciences Bldg     

Press Release 









 Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing

UMass Dartmouth

Fall River

MAB Building

More details here  






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.

Building Support for UMass and its

Impact on Innovation & the Economy


Robert L. Caret


Dear Friends of UMass:


Last week, I completed my third statewide bus tour to talk about the profound impact the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts have on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the innovation economy that thrives here.
We do this, of course, by educating the citizens of today and tomorrow, by conducting research that leads to the discoveries and developing ideas that fuel the state's innovation economy, and by delivering services to every corner of our state through our five campuses and over 75 other locations that are home to UMass services and programs. 

In other words, we shape the Commonwealth's future by closely adhering to the public university land-grant mission that was born a century and a half ago.
The statewide bus tours I undertook in 2011 and 2012 were valuable for many reasons. I heard time and time again that people valued all of the things that the University was doing, but just wanted us to do more. Give us "more UMass" was the common refrain. And it is a message that is hard to question: We educate 72,000 students a year (most of whom come from and will remain in Massachusetts), award more than 15,000 degrees, conduct $600 million in research annually, and have become a national leader in generating licensing income from faculty discoveries.
While traveling the state, I also spoke about the importance of supporting UMass - and of how grateful we are for the support we receive. UMass recently received an unprecedented $50 million funding increase from the state and House Speaker Robert DeLeo has expressed his desire to provide us with comparable infusion in the 2014-2015 budget, a second major increase that would allow us to fully implement our 50-50 plan. We also are coming off a strong year in the critical area of raising private funds, generating $103 million in 2012-2013.  In recent weeks, we've seen generous gifts from industry such as Sanofi and Vertex.


As we rode the bus across the state, my message was consistent, and I repeat it here: To all of our supporters - public and private - thank you, and continue to invest in UMass. Public and private support enables us to do more to provide the talent and innovation required by a tech-based economy, and allows us to expand our impact and meet the rising demand for "more UMass."



Robert L. Caret




UMass Amherst Named "Innovation All-Star" by BBJ/MHT

Mike Malone
Mike Malone

The Boston Business Journal & Mass High Tech named their  annual Innovation All-Stars, recognizing the accomplishments of UMass Amherst in the Education category. The media companies cited the launching and growing the UMass Innovation Institute, engaging the life sciences industry in attracting a $95M life sciences grant, growing its "innovation challenge" business plan competition, and its overall growth in innovation and entrepreneurship during Mike Malone's tenure as "chief research officer."


UMass Med School Professor Wins Keio Prize

Victor R. Ambros

The 18th Keio Medical Science Prize has been awarded to Victor R. Ambros, PhD, professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Silverman Chair in Natural Science.  Keio University of Japan annually awards this prize "to recognize researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of medicine or life sciences."

Read more at Phys.org

UMass Campuses, Industry Explore 'Big Data'

Yanlei Diao

Professors Prashant Shenoy and Yanlei Diao of Amherst conducted a workshop at the UMass Boston Venture Development Center on Oct. 4 that brought nearly 50 UMass researchers from all five campuses with an interest in "big data" together with industry experts from EMC, Fidelity, IBM and others. The workshop focused on research strengths and opportunities for cross-campus and university-industry collaboration in this emerging field.

Read more at UMass Boston News


UML Launches Center for Terrorism, Security Studies

UMass Lowell has launched a new research center to meet the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism by studying those behind it and developing solutions. Top experts in academia will lead new degree programs and research efforts, and an opening event drew 200 representatives from counterterrorism, law enforcement and academia to the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center.  The event also included news that more than $1M in research grants has been awarded to the center by the National Institute of Justice.

Read more at UMass Lowell News


UMA Engineer Gets $750K for Energy Research

Ashwin Ramasubramaniam

UMass Amherst engineer Ashwin Ramasubramaniam has been awarded a five-year $750,000 grant by the US Department of Energy to study ways to improve reactions in fuel cells aimed at advancing alternative energy sources.  Ramasubramaniam is a faulty member in the mechanical and industrial engineering department at UMass and is conducting computer experiments to determine how fuel cells' electrodes might be made to work more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Read the Press Release



DOD Awards $750K to UMA to Study Turbulence Using High Performance Computing 

A UMass Amherst engineering team will be using high-performance computing capacity and data storage available from the U.S. Department of Defense to study fluid turbulence to reduce drag on underwater vehicles and improve sensor systems. The work is supported by a five-year, $750K contract and existing DOD grants.  


UMass Dartmouth Receives Grant for Highway Pavement Research

Researchers in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department received over $400,000 in grant awards by the New England Transportation Research Consortium (NETC).  The grants were administered through the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) for projects to further study and develop innovative technologies in the area of pavement material construction and sustainability.

Read the Press Release


UMass Boston Professor Receives NASA Grant

Chandra Yelleswarapu

Chandra Yelleswarapu, professor of physics at UMass Boston, will be working with East West Enterprises to develop a specialized microscope that could be used on the International Space Station. East West Enterprises was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from NASA.  East West Enterprises is based in Huntsville, AL, but recently opened a office at the UMass Boston Venture Development Center (VDC).  The VDC offers a grant-writing workshop for SBIR applicants.  Yelleswarapu credits the workshop with helping to improve his grant-writing skills, and connecting him with bioscience researchers.

Read more at UMass Boston News

UMass Lowell Search for UMII Executive Director

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is seeking outstanding candidates for the position of UMass Innovation Institute (UMII) Director, Lowell campus.  Candidates with extensive experience will be considered at the Executive Director level.  UMII is a UMass system-wide, multidisciplinary institute focused on applied research and innovation that is complementary to UMass academic research and that creates customer value in all forms for government, industry and academic partners. 

Read more at UMass Lowell Jobs


Phone App Helps Doctors Make Right Call in Treating Heart Patients

A new cell phone app has been developed to assess cardiac patients so doctors can more easily identify patients who are at risk of dying. The app was developed through a partnership between UMass Medical School (UMMS) and the University of Edinburgh, built upon a multinational database developed and coordinated by the UMMS's Center for Outcomes Research.

Read more at UMass Med Now

CVIP Reports $35M Income, Two New Startups

The University had an active final quarter of fiscal 2013 in terms of faculty disclosures, patenting activity and licensing, with Amherst and Worcester leading the way. Faculty invention disclosures and patent applications were strong for the quarter and the year, licensing income reached $35M, and two startups were launched in the fourth quarter, food-technology startup OCL from Amherst and Endeavor Medical Technology from UML.

Read more at UMass News


Fred Reinhart Appointed AUTM President-Elect

Fred Reinhart
Fred Reinhart, Director of the Amherst CVIP office has been named President-elect of the Association of University Technology Managers, the leading international association of technology managers from universities and research institutions.  Reinhart has been active in AUTM for over 20 years, and his appointment is a real honor - both personally for himself and institutionally for the UMass technology transfer program.  

MTTC Awarded $499K for MassCEC Catalyst Awards

MTTC, led by founding director Abi Barrow, has secured funding of $499,000 from MassCEC for a new round of Catalyst awards to be given out over the next year.  The 33 prior and current awardees have collectively now raised over $12M in new funding - the majority of which is new grant funding from the DOE. 

Read more at MassCEC


Reflectance Device Helps Soldiers, ER Patients

Babs Soller

UMass Medical School start-up company Reflectance Medical Inc., founded by former UMMS Research Professor Babs Soller, has a new device.  Mobile CareGuide 3100 allows medical personnel to take blood oxygen and pH readings without a blood sample to identify patients who are about to go into shock in a timely manner.  This device uses light to read patients' blood chemistry without cutting into them which will help save the lives of soldiers wounded in the battlefield and patients showing up at emergency rooms.

Read more at Forbes



Student Enrollment Surges to Record 72,000 

Enrollment at the University of Massachusetts is projected to reach 71,988 students this fall, a record for the five-campus system. Enrollment has steadily climbed over the past six years, from 61,034 students in the fall 2007 to the current projected headcount, an increase of 18 percent.  

Read the Press Release


Sanofi Provides $1M to UMass Boston to Support Student Success in STEM 

Sanofi and its Cambridge-based biotechnology company, Genzyme, provided a $1M gift to UMass Boston to support student success programs at UMB's College of Science and Mathematics. The gift expands an existing partnership. The announcement was made at the opening of Sanofi's new R&D facility in Cambridge, which will be focused on cancer research.


Vertex, UMass Team up on $300K STEM Scholarship

Vertex and UMass announce a new four-year, need-and merit-based scholarship program to assist Boston high school students pursuing higher education at UMass in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year.  

Read more at Boston.com

UMB Receives $3M Environmental Science Grant

UMass Boston has received a five-year, $3.1M Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant from the National Science Foundation.  This funding will enable UMass Boston to implement an interdisciplinary, transnational approach to studying global environmental issues.

Read more at UMass Boston News


Grant Affirms UMMS MD/PhD Program 'Among Best'

The MD/PhD program at UMass Medical School has just joined a short list of the best physician-scientist training programs in the country, receiving a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Medical Scientist Training Program. The award represents recognition by the NIH of the excellence and rigor of the UMMS program, which joins 43 other programs in the country to receive MSTP funding and becomes only the second such program in Massachusetts.

Read more at UMass Med Now


UMB VDC Places First Life Sci Startup Interns

What do Valentina Dunn, Hembly Rivas, Amy Worth and Jacob Borr have in common?  They are top undergrads (or recent grads in Valentina's case) at UMass Boston. And they are the first crop of life science students which have won internships through the Venture Development Center's Student Entrepreneurship Program at prestigious biotech startups. Support for this program is being provided by the City of Boston. The hiring companies are enEvolv, Parabase Genomics, Pressure BioSciences and GnuBIO, all located at the Venture Development Center except GnuBIO which is in Cambridge.  These students promise to be the first of many to be hired. As GnuBIO said: "If you have any more stellar candidates, please send them to me."


UML Summer Co-op Scholars Get Real-World Experience

Sixty-four sophomores from all six colleges on the UMass Lowell campus presented their work in 44 posters during this year's Summer Co-op Scholars Poster Session.  This program provides students the opportunity to test their research projects in a safe environment. 

Read more at UMass Lowell News


UMMS Tools Help Scientists Navigate Career Path

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences' Cynthia Fuhrmann has been recognized by the AAMC for developing an innovative online career planning tool for biomedical scientists-in-training.

Read more at UMass Med Now

UMass Medical School Economic Impact

The UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc. are leaders in education, research and health care delivery in the Commonwealth.  They also add significantly to the region by contributing billions to the local and state economies - an estimated $5.7 billion in total economic activity across the Commonwealth, with more than $4.19 billion generated in Worcester County alone. 

For more information contact the Medical School


UMass Lowell Driving Regional Economic Growth

UMass Lowell released a report earlier this month highlighting its impact on the local and regional economy, which includes more than $600M in capital projects, from the $95M University Crossing to the $40M Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center.  Download the Economic Report.

Read more at UMass Lowell News


Donahue Institute Leads Knowledge Corridor Talent Strategy

The UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research group began work on a project looking at the education levels of the labor force in the area known as the Knowledge Corridor, a region reaching from north-central Connecticut to the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, focusing on the development of a Talent Action Strategy to foster and retain the area's skilled workers. This work will be incorporated into a comprehensive economic development strategy by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Read more at UMass Donahue Institute News


STEM Summit to take Place November 13

The 10th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit will bring together over 1,000 of the state's business, government and education leaders to discuss policies and programs that promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education from early childhood through adulthood and into the workforce, as well as address the Massachusetts Statewide STEM Plan.  Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman Joe Kennedy and UMass President Robert Caret are scheduled to speak, and more than 40 breakout sessions addressing topics from curriculum development to career pathways will take place throughout the day. The STEM mission is tied to the economic development goals of the Commonwealth, preparing residents to fill the highly skilled jobs needed to propel an innovative economy and closing the achievement gap that exists between the state's richest and poorest students.


Donahue Institute Supports Mass. Chambers

The UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group is working with a few local and regional chambers of commerce in Massachusetts to support a wide range of economic development, research and strategic planning initiatives.  In Cambridge, EPPR is completing a business impact study that is developing a wide range of economic, real estate, industry and demographic data indicators for the city. For the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, EPPR has completed a preliminary market assessment of a large redevelopment site in the Brockton downtown area. Finally, EPPR is about to start a new project for the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce to help reimagine its Chamber Foundation.


Sequestration, State Unemployment Leading to 'Sluggish' Economy

The latest MassBenchmarks journal, published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, reports that the state unemployment rate has been rising even as the national rate has been falling, and that young workers and those with less than a college education in particular face challenging conditions with little hope for near-term progress.

Read more at MassBenchmarks
To learn more about the University's Economic Development efforts, please call 617-287-4087