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Fabric Discovery Center (FDC)

The Future of Functional Fabrics is Here

Where small businesses, startups and large organizations turn ideas into valuable solutions.

The UMass Lowell Fabric Discovery Center is home to the first and only site in the nation that integrates discoveries from three Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes.

110 Canal Street building

The 28,000-square foot Fabric Discovery Center located at 110 Canal St. in downtown Lowell features dedicated space for design, prototyping, pilot manufacturing and testing.

Use an Integrated Approach to Develop Functional Fabrics

The synergy between high-tech fabrics and flexible electronics combined with robotics could change the world. Just imagine developing products such as:

  • Fabrics that respond to temperature changes.
  • Fire resistant fabrics made from materials found in nature.
  • Fabrics that prevent water, oil or chemical penetration.
  • Fibers with self-healing nanocapsules.
  • Medical textiles that heal wounds, devices that prevent stroke.
  • Wearable electronics embedded in shirts and shoes that measure vital signs.
  • Power generating clothes, briefcase or shelter via weaveable organic photovoltaics.

To advance manufacturing, spark innovation and train workers for higher paying jobs, Massachusetts made a substantial commitment to develop the Manufacturing USA infrastructure within the state’s academic, research and manufacturing industry. 

  • OCT
    Representatives from BARDA, BARDA DRIVe, Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS, and the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) will introduce you to the partnership they’ve formed to help advance innovations tackling our biggest health security threats. You’ll learn from BARDA and BARDA DRIVe about their missions, areas of interests, partnerships and the opportunities they provide to help further innovation. You’ll also hear from JLABS and M2D2, two active incubator programs that have partnered with each other and BARDA to serve as pipeline builders and resource centers. Not only do these centers compliment and expand on BARDA’s mission but they can work with you to fill in the advancement gaps needed to position your innovation on the path to success. Join us and learn about the added-value government/incubator partnerships can bring to the table to help advance the opportunity of success for life science innovators. Speakers: • BARDA: Mary Holmer (Chief and Project Officer) • JLABS: Rachel Rath (Director, BARDA Alliance) • UMass Lowell: Steven Tello (Vice Provost) or MaryAnn Picard (Director of Operations) • BARDA DRIVe: Sandeep Patel (BARDA DRIVe Director) Agenda: 12:00pm – 12:05pm: Opening remarks and Intros 12:05pm – 12:25pm: BARDA Presentation w/ Q&A 12:25pm – 12:45pm: BARDA DRIVe Presentation w/ Q&A 12:45pm – 1:05pm: JLABS Presentation w/ Q&A 1:05pm – 1:25pm: M2D2 Presentation w/ Q&A 1:25pm – 1:55pm: Company Spotlights 1:55pm – 2:00pm: Closing Remarks
    12:00 PM
  • OCT

    Culture is a way to align people with shared values to support each other to overcome challenges and achieve ambitious goals efficiently and meaningfully. As the saying goes, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” However, designing and scaling a people and purposecentric culture can be hard, especially for fast-growing companies. Your company’s culture impacts everything from your productivity, engagement, and customer loyalty, to your speed of innovation, retention of talent, growth, and, of course, profitability. By creating a thriving company built on cultural design, futuristic leadership, and customer-centric strategies, companies can achieve sustainable long-term success.

    In this session, you will meet the award-winning entrepreneur with nearly two decades of experience working with founders and CEOs. Therese Gedda is often referred to as a “Master Teacher,” “Founder Therapist,” and “Yoda” by the over 1,000 founders, CEOs, and executives she has been working with over the years. She is a recognized expert within company culture, scaling companies, and the high achiever mindset. Over the last few years, she has been working with several Massachusetts-based BioTech, MedTech, and Life Science companies as an Executive Coach, CEO advisor, and cultural expert.

    In the session, we will uncover how to design a thriving company culture with an interdisciplinary team. As a founder, you will also learn actionable leadership techniques that align with your desired culture. As an additional bonus, since an intentionally well-designed culture helps you be even more of who you are, you will also learn techniques for peaking your performance as a founder.

    “Therese is an extraordinary Founder/Executive Coach, and working with her continues to have a significant impact on my career and life.” – Jan Schnorr, Co-founder of C2Sense.

    “When I talk about Therese with fellow founders, I often refer to her as a “founder therapist” – someone that can empathize and share the burden of your journey and help you navigate successfully. I’ve personally recommended her to many of my founder friends who have subsequently gone on to refer her to their friends – a testament to her continued impact.” – Sridhar Iyengar, Founder & CEO at Elemental Machines.


    Therése Gedda is an award-winning entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of 30minMBA. She brings more than 18 years of entrepreneurial experience from running multiple companies including tech startups to her executive coaching and cultural consulting practice. She has developed proprietary frameworks proven to deliver transformative change in both fast-growing companies and large corporations. Therése has actively engaged with over 1,000 founders, CEO’s and executives. Her company, 30minMBA, re-imagines the workplace by supporting startups and scaleups in becoming more people and purpose-centric. She is also a soughtafter Executive Coach for high achieving founders, investors, and the C-suite.

    Therése has been an invited Keynote Speaker in over ten countries on topics such as Company Culture, the Future of Work, and the High Achiever Mindset where she has inspired more than 30,000 people. Therése has been featured at exclusive invitation-only events led by companies such as Apple and LVMH as well as international conferences such as Inbound in Boston alongside Michelle Obama, Adam Grant, and Brené Brown. Other notable conferences include Viva Tech in Paris, TEDx in Stockholm, and Web Summit in Dublin. Offstage, Therése has been featured in NBC News, Fortune, and VentureBeat, to name a few.

    As a result of her dedication to entrepreneurship and company culture, Therése has been recognized by Nordic 100 for her cultural and Future of Work efforts, naming her one of the most influential and impactful people in the Nordics. The list is equivalent to the ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ and ‘Forbes 40 under 40’ in the United States. She’s also been recognized by the SKAPA foundation via the Future Innovator Award given in memory of Alfred Nobel. This award is one of the most prestigious of its kind, and the recipients are considered to be “Swedish Champions of Innovation.”



    1:00 PM

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