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Greentown Labs, MassDevelopment, and MassMEP Partner to Tighten Ties Between Start-Ups and Manufacturers

Greentown Labs, MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), and local businesses have formed an innovative partnership that will work with local start-ups and existing manufacturers to transform great ideas in Massachusetts to great companies in the Commonwealth.

"By creating the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, the Patrick Administration has focused unprecedented attention and resources on this critical innovative sector," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "The combined efforts of Greentown Labs, MassDevelopment, and MassMEP will help emerging manufacturers take their ideas from concept to company."

This partnership will address two existing problems. Start-ups with great technical skills often lack experience in manufacturing and commercialization. Manufacturers may not know how to communicate and provide services to the start-up community.

"Greentown Labs is a community of entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges and we want our companies to know they have many options to stay and grow their businesses here in Massachusetts," said Emily Reichert, PhD, CEO of Greentown Labs. "We are excited to partner with MassDevelopment and MassMEP on this important work as Massachusetts once again leads the way, this time bringing together manufacturers and start-ups and creating new opportunities for both."

This partnership will help start-ups to achieve their potential, manufacturers to increase their access/exposure to the latest technological trends, and the Commonwealth to grow its manufacturing sector.

"MassDevelopment finances manufacturers with loans and promotes the sector as an attractive career option through the AMP it up! campaign," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "Working with Greentown Labs and MassMEP, we will make sure that clean-green companies not only continue to come up with their ideas in Massachusetts, but that they will build their companies in the Commonwealth."

After exploring the needs and desires of start-ups and manufacturers, Greentown Labs and MassMEP will first establish a program to communicate best practices for these two communities to work collaboratively. Later, Greentown Labs and MassMEP will create a network for commercializing innovation and converting start-ups to Massachusetts manufacturers.

"The strength of the manufacturing base in Massachusetts benefits the Greentown Labs’ start-ups as they move from bench-top ideas to larger scale commercial success," said Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership Director Jack Healy. "MassMEP is pleased to partner with both Greentown Labs and MassDevelopment in this endeavor to help move ideas in to reality by identifying and qualifying suppliers and subsequently facilitating the process between the supplier and the start up."

This project will launch with a pilot involving more than 40 companies that will lead to a broader program.

Greentown Labs provides prototyping space, shared machine shop tools, office space, and an event space to more than 40 member companies. Greentown Labs leverages its facility, partners, and sponsors to provide entrepreneurs access to the equipment, services, education, and network they need to launch their companies quickly and successfully.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), part of the national NIST MEP system, is a leading resource for manufacturers. Committed to success in manufacturing, MassMEP transforms companies through solutions focused on innovative growth, operational excellence, and workforce development. The organization cultivates a sustainable community built on supportive relationships, idea sharing, achievement, and next generation manufacturing. For more information, visit www.massmep.org.