MBI’s BioCluster building mission in Central Massachusetts is unique among incubators and supports our companies and our community by anticipating future industry needs and taking action to create smooth pathways for future success. Utilizing its convening power, MBI brings together the Central Massachusetts BioCluster to coordinate economic and workforce development programming and represents the industry in a variety of local and state forums.
The growth of the Central Massachusetts biotech and biomanufacturing markets has created opportunities to bring new populations into the industry and fuel economic prosperity in our region. MBI is committed to providing industry with the talent they need to succeed, and to creating generational change for families in our community through opportunity in the life sciences industry.
Biomanufacturing Workforce Initiative
Closing workforce gaps starts with meaningful communication between industry and academia to identify and brainstorm strategies for closing those gaps. MBI is proud to partner with MassHire to start this conversation through our Biomanufacturing Workforce Initiative (BWI).
Twice per year, we convene a group of industry and academic providers for a conversation around current workforce gap trends and strategies for closing these gaps. Having multiple industry partners at the table allows us to “heat map” where the overlapping challenges are, and then identify which of our academic partners has the greatest capability to create a pipeline to that opportunity. With the help of state funding, MBI has helped begin certification programs through our Workforce Challenge Grants.
Increasing Diversity in STEM Grants
In partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, MBI awards a series of annual grants for programs that build diverse pipelines into the life sciences industry. Prior Awardees include the AVANZA STEM Expo at Worcester State University’s Latino Education Institute, the MassAcademy of Math & Science’s Arduino Project, and Quinsigamond Community College’s student educational outreach programs.
Workforce Challenge Grants
MBI’s Workforce Challenge Grants are focused on closing workforce gaps identified by our industry partners at the Biomanufacturing Workforce Initiative and bringing new populations into the industry. The program particularly focuses on scalable programs that tap into an existing pipeline of underrepresented populations.
As an example, MBI was proud to support Quinsigamond Community College and AbbVie in the development of their Biomanufacturing Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The program emerged from a growing need for biomanufacturing technicians at AbbVie. Working in partnership, QCC & AbbVie developed a 10-week training curriculum that provided students with the basic skills necessary for a career in the industry. This scalable programtied into QCC’s Foreign Born Adult program and ESL classes and is now open to the public.
MBI has also proudly supported MassBIOEd’s Apprenticeship & Lab Support Programs, GMGI’s Biotechnology Academy, and MLSC’s MassNextGen program.
Since 2000, MBI has assisted over 175 companies that have created over 1,025 jobs and have had an economic impact of over $1 billion. MBI has been involved in the development of nearly every biotech related project in the City of Worcester.
Economic Development Coordinating Council
Worcester is a leader in the biotech and biomanufacturing industries and works hard to support companies looking to invest and grow in the city. MBI represents the industry on the City of Worcester’s Economic Development Coordinating Council, a weekly partnership of the City of Worcester, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Worcester Business Development Corporation, and MBI.
Company & Brokerage Site Selection Support
Are you considering expanding in Central Massachusetts? Allow MBI to show you how efficient this part of the BioCluster is. MBI works with companies and site selectors to efficiently outline the site opportunities, economic development supports, and workforce development initiatives that can support companies in Central Massachusetts. We support Team Massachusetts, the State’s collaborative site selection team composed of groups such as MassBio, MassEcon, and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, on opportunities for biotech in Central Massachusetts. We work with a great network of brokers to highlight the benefits of our region and make doing business here highly efficient. Lean on us to help you understand the value proposition of Central Massachusetts.
The Reactory, Worcester’s Biomanufacturing Park
In 2015, MBI presented a white paper proposing the creation of a Biomanufacturing Park adjacent to the UMass Medicine Science Park and AbbVie BioResearch Center in the City of Worcester. That white paper led to the formation of the Worcester Biomanufacturing Initiative, a 25-member stakeholder group of local and state partners co-chaired by MBI and former Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
With amazing support from our legislative delegation, 46 acres of state land was transferred to our partners at the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) who moved mountains to prepare the land for development and promote site readiness.
This collective team effort empowered WuXi Biologics to invest $300M and create over 250 jobs in the City of Worcester. WuXi has doubled the size of their original development proposal and acquired additional land to accommodate their future growth.
With the WBDC’s site development efforts complete, the remainder of the park has been sold to Galaxy Life Sciences to further the development of the Reactory.
A national model of public-private partnerships, Gateway Park redeveloped 11 acres of highly contaminated brownfields properties into a mixed-use, biotechnology park in Worcester. The project development team of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) & WBDC received several national recognitions for the project including the EPA’s prestigious Pheonix Award and EDA’s Excellence in Economic Development Award.
MBI participated in the developments of both 60 & 50 Prescott Street in Gatewat Park by stepping up to be the first non-academic tenant in each building. MBI currently operates it’s Cell & Gene Therapy StartUp Center in WPI’s Life Science & Bioengineering Center at 60 Prescott Street and operated a ScaleUp Center that incubated Blue Sky Biotech at 50 Prescott Street during their acquisitions by Lake Pharma & Curia.
MBI is proud to partner with MassBIO, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MassTech Collaborative, MassEcon, MassMedic and the Healey Administration to support the growth of the life sciences ecosystem throughout Massachusetts.
MBI also serves on the South Worcester Economic Development Organization, Grafton Community Advisory Board, UMass Clinical & Translational Science Advisory Board, Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Venture Forum, and numerous other Boards to guide startup and economic development policy for the life sciences.