Greater New Bedford – Industry Benchmark in the Marine Science

UMass Group Wins Grant to Expand Marine Technology Network
New Bedford Standard Times

FALMOUTH — Continuing to strengthen the state’s marine science & technology sector in southeastern Massachusetts, the John Adams Innovation Institute is making investments to support research and commercialization of new technologies, according to a release from the institute.
As the economic development arm of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Innovation Institute is working with UMass Dartmouth’s SouthCoast Development Partnership (SCDP) to expand the Marine and Oceanographic Technology Network (MOTN), an industry association for southern New England.
“The marine technology sector in Massachusetts continues to grow, and this latest investment will provide the strategic framework necessary to corral institutional efforts and focus industry growth for long-term success,” said Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth.
“I congratulate the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, UMass Dartmouth and MOTN for working together and thinking ahead to secure the Commonwealth’s place as a leader in the maritime sciences.”
Through a $44,000 regional priority award, the SCDP will craft a strategic plan that strengthens MOTN and helps to organize the marine science and technology industry cluster around a clearly defined mission, informing the strategies and investments of a wide range of economic actors. Job creation in the sector and the further development of a skilled workforce are both anticipated outcomes of the investment.
“The ocean has played a dynamic and vital role throughout the South Coast’s economic, social and political history. This state investment will help create quality jobs, provide a spur to the economy, and further progress Greater New Bedford as the industry benchmark in the marine science field, “said Senator Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford.
“The marine science and technology sector has the potential to become to southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape what the biotech cluster is for Cambridge,” said John Adams Innovation Institute Director Patrick Larkin. “Cheryl Zimmerman, Tom Curry and their team are making great strides to invigorate MOTN as a key voice for this exciting industry sector.”
“A strong, centralized industry voice will not only enhance immediate opportunities for economic growth in the region, but will enable institutional collaborations so critical to the long term prosperity of this sector,” said Tom Curry of the Southcoast Development Partnership.
With approximately $1.5 billion in total sales generated annually by marine science and technology companies in Massachusetts, the sector is among the fastest growing areas of the Commonwealth’s knowledge economy, according to the press release.
“With activity continuing to boom in the marine sciences in Massachusetts and significant federal funding continuing to flow into the sector, we look forward to working with the Southcoast Development Partnership and MTC’s John Adams Innovation Institute to most effectively organize the industry,” said Cheryl Zimmerman, president of MOTN.
The Innovation Institute is investing in a wide range of activities to develop the marine sciences industry in Massachusetts, including, the press release says:
* Developing a new “innovation accelerator” to translate research in the marine science sector into job creation and business formation by providing funding and assistance to the Regional Technology Development Corporation of Cape Cod. RTDC is collaborating with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, as well as the Falmouth Economic Development Corporation, focused on technology commercialization.
* Partnering with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s ocean observation system and providing a $10 million award to help WHOI win a $97.7 million federal research award.
* Working to establish UMass Dartmouth’s Center of Excellence in Applied Ocean Systems, which has a strong focus on coastal modeling and novel data acquisition systems, through a $150,000 development grant award. This center is working with the network of researchers and marine infrastructure that are located throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states, building on the significant human and infrastructure capacity present in Massachusetts at the University of Massachusetts campuses in Dartmouth, Boston, Lowell, and Amherst, other academic institutions in Greater Boston and Woods Hole, and companies in Marion, Falmouth, and other locations in southern New England.
These research initiatives will lead to the creation of new products, the institute said, that solve challenges and problems in the ocean environment and meet the existing and the emerging demand for innovation in the global markets. MOTN will help to identify business opportunities for firms to become engaged as suppliers of products and services, collaborative R&D partners, or developers of information.
“As Massachusetts continues to position itself for global leadership in the marine sciences, our ability to enhance communication between firms, researchers, and policymakers is vital. MOTN will provide this very necessary organizational support,” said Susan Avery, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
June 01, 2008 6:00 AM
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