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UMass Hosts Creative ‘Sandbox’

By By John Laidler, Boston Globe

 The University of Massachusetts Lowell is home to a new privately funded program aimed at mobilizing public-spirited leaders to seek innovative solutions to problems in the Merrimack Valley.

Launched on Dec. 9, the Merrimack Valley Sandbox is a collaboration among UMass Lowell, area colleges, nonprofit organizations, and the Deshpande Foundation, which is providing $5 million over five years to fund the initiative.

Operating out of a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell, the program will provide training, mentoring, seed funding, and other resources to promote new approaches to economic development, education, job training, and other regional needs.

In addition to UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex Community College, and Merrimack College are educational partners in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, so named because it aims to promote the creativity and trial-and-error innovation symbolized by children’s play in a sandbox.

Read more about the Merrimack Valley Sandbox.