The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell), one of the nation’s leading research universities, today announced its sponsorship of Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech startup incubator in the United States. The three-year partnership will uncover and create opportunities for collaboration among the Greentown Labs startup community and UMass Lowell’s community of students, faculty and researchers. The organizations will focus on academic and research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and economic development activities. UMass Lowell joins Greentown Labs as a Gigawatt-level sponsor, which is the second-highest level of sponsor engagement with the incubator.
The overall goals of the partnership are dedicated to fostering stronger ties across the two organizations and key elements of the sponsorship include:
- Jointly facilitated events focused on clean energy research;
- Co-authored and co-run research projects and proposals;
- Programming and research dedicated to energy storage innovation and deployment across the Commonwealth;
- Shared access to each entity’s breadth of resources for startups, students and faculty, including UMass Lowell’sCore Research Facilities;
- A Faculty-in-Residence program at Greentown Labs for a member of UMass Lowell’s faculty;
- Access to UMass Lowell’s Global Entrepreneurial-in-Residence program for Greentown Labs’ startups; and
- A staff coordinator from UMass Lowell who will support both organizations and work to facilitate connections between the two.
Jessi Duston has been hired as the staff coordinator for the UMass Lowell/Greentown Labs partnership. Duston holds a master’s degree in sustainability and environmental management and has experience in both higher education and land conservation.
UMass Lowell has been a leader in clean-energy innovation and research for more than 40 years, working with industry and startups, conducting research and educating the workforce. Today, the university offers energy engineering degrees and certificates in a variety of renewable energy technologies. UMass Lowell has created partnerships with a range of academic, state, federal and industry sectors and is helping to define a new incubator model for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, the university is engaged in many campus-based sustainability initiatives, all with the goal of reaching carbon-neutrality.
“UMass Lowell is engaged in research in all aspects of energy, from wind and solar power to energy storage, energy resiliency, cybersecurity and more. The new partnership with Greentown Labs will leverage UMass Lowell’s research knowledge, resources and facilities to build university-industry partnerships leading to the next generation of energy systems as well as bringing economic development to the Commonwealth,” said Julie Chen, Ph.D., UMass Lowell vice chancellor for research and innovation.
The 100,000-square-foot Greentown Labs campus, located in Somerville, Mass., provides startups with a robust network of strategic partners, prototyping lab space, a wet lab, a machine shop, electronics shop, office space for more than 450 entrepreneurs, a 600-person event space and a variety of flexible membership options. The UMass Lowell partnership is the third formal engagement Greentown Labs has with universities in Massachusetts. The increasing interactions with higher education institutions highlights the growing trend of public-private partnerships aimed at identifying solutions to mitigate climate change.
“UMass Lowell is a well-respected research leader across the energy, robotics, electronics and public health sectors and has many impressive research facilities across its campus,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “The Greentown Labs and UMass Lowell communities have shared values around collaboration, support, and innovation and we’re eager to see the many engagement opportunities that are sure to result from our partnership!”
Greentown Labs and UMass Lowell will share more information about their partnership at the Greentown Labs annual Cleantech InternFair EnergyBar on Thursday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. at Greentown Labs’ headquarters in Somerville. The InternFair is an open networking event to connect students and soon-to-be graduates from colleges and universities across the region with cleantech startups at Greentown Labs.