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UML Helps to Bridge Gap for Firms

By From the Lowell Sun

The UMass Lowell-UMass Worcester Medical Device Development Center, or M2D2, recently announced that it has assisted 23 start-up companies and entrepreneurs since its program kicked off in the spring of 2007 with the charge of helping to bridge the gap between invention and production of new medical devices.

Ten start-ups have received funding through M2D2. Five of those received matching funds under M2D2's "fast-lane" program, and five gained federal funding with M2D2's assistance.

Both the "fast-lane" and federal-grant assistance programs were supported primarily through competitive awards to M2D2 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's John Adams Innovation Institute.

"In this economic climate, there is a critical need for M2D2's services to keep the pipeline of new medical-device products flowing," said UMass Lowell Professor Stephen McCarthy, co-director. "Credit is tightening, and private investors are even less inclined to support early-stage medical-device companies than they were only a few months ago. M2D2 helps companies cross that 'valley of death.'"

UMass Worcester doctors and nurses provide M2D2-applicant entrepreneurs a medical screen, while Lowell's management college provides a business screen -- hurdles companies must pass before receiving more direct M2D2 support.