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LOWELL ߝ The State House and Senate have agreed to an economic stimulus bill that includes $35 million for an integrated advanced manufacturing research and technology assistance facility at UMass Lowell.
“The Legislature’s support for the building is outstanding news, not only for the campus, but for the region as a whole,” said Chancellor William T. Hogan. “With it, we will help companies turn out nano-sized products by the truckload and produce new life-saving biopharmaceuticals. Such advanced manufacturing will be infused with a respect for the environment, embodied by UMass Lowell’s green chemistry program, which also will be housed in the facility. This investment will allow our institution, the state and New England to capitalize on the emerging industries of the 21st century.”
Chancellor Hogan lauded the Lowell delegation for shepherding the proposal through the Legislature and aggressively advocating for higher education funding on Beacon Hill.
“This investment puts Lowell at the forefront of two emerging industries ߝ nanomanufacturing and biomanufacturing,” said Sen. Steven C. Panagiotakos, a member of the conference committee that crafted the final legislation. “This will capture for the region the jobs of the future.”
The bill, expected to pass both branches of the Legislature today, appropriates $21 million and approves state bonding for $14 million for a nano- and bio-manufacturing facility on campus. The University will borrow an additional $35 million and tap other sources for $10 million to fund the proposed $80-million-dollar facility, which requires state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research laboratories and prototype manufacturing space. It will be the first new academic building constructed on campus in more than 30 years.
The building will be home to an expanded Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence, encompassing a state-funded center and a federally funded Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing. The National Science Foundation estimates that there will be $1 trillion in sales of nanotechnology based products within 10 years and the creation of 2 million new nanotechnology jobs.
The building’s biomanufacturing research and production assistance space and equipment will serve to expand an existing BioManufacturing Center, currently headquartered on campus. Expansion of the center’s program and reach is also authorized and funded in the economic stimulus bill. The bill authorizes bonding for a $10 million bioprocessing facility near UMass Dartmouth, authorizes a method for governing an expanded BioManufacturing Center and establishes a new Life Sciences Center, which could help fund the activities of the BioManufacturing Center. The center’s program aims to assist biotechnology firms as they move from research toward production and commercialization of biopharmaceuticals.
UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. Visit the website at www.uml.edu.