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UMass Lowell, Metabolix/Telles Celebrate Partnership

More Than $2.5 Million in Funded Research Conducted

Chancellor Marty Meehan, center, Prof. Stephen McCarthy, second from right, and Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney, far right, with executives from Metabolix/Telles. 

06/30/2010
By Edwin L. Aguirre

UMass Lowell recently hosted a reception for Metabolix/Telles to celebrate the company’s 15 years of sponsored research and licensing partnership with the University. More than 30 students, faculty, University administrators and company officers attended the gathering, which was held at the newly renovated UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse.

Attendees included Chancellor Marty Meehan, Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney, Administration and Finance Vice Chancellor Joanne Yestramski, Provost Ahmed Abdelal and Engineering Dean John Ting as well as Metabolix/Telles President and CEO Richard Eno, Chief Scientific Officer Oliver Peoples, Telles General Manager Robert Engle and Strategy & Commercial Development Vice President Johan van Walsem.

In his welcome remarks, Meehan thanked Metabolix/Telles for its support through the years.

“Bioplastics and green technology are important to the future of the University and the new Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center being built on campus,” he said.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with UMass Lowell,” said Eno. “It is one of the best universities in the country.”

Cambridge-based Metabolix is an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on providing sustainable solutions for the world’s needs for plastics, chemicals and energy. For example, the company is now developing and commercializing Mirel™ bioplastics, a renewable and biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based plastic made from sugarcane.

“Research in bioplastics is vital to UMass Lowell,” said plastics engineering Prof. Stephen McCarthy. “Metabolix located the headquarters of Telles in Lowell because of its partnership with the University.”

McCarthy said Metabolix has funded more than $2.5 million in sponsored research with UMass Lowell and more than 50 students for their master's and doctorates. It has also donated more than a half million dollars’ worth of bioplastic processing equipment.

“Metabolix has licensed UMass Lowell patents for bioplastic blends, with potential royalties of $100,000 a year,” said McCarthy.