UMass to Break Ground on Biotech Testing Facility

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"The facility allows start-up companies to conduct research, test and scale up their products, or partner with other startups. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it will eliminate a common barrier for entering the life science industry."

Herald News, Grant Welker

A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held Wednesday for a biomanufacturing facility that is expected to draw companies to the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park at Fall River.

The $28 million center, called the Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing, is said to be the first in the nation of its kind: a building that allows start-up companies to conduct research, test and scale-up their products, or partner with other startups. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which is building the facility, says it will eliminate a common barrier for entering the life science industry and attract companies—once already at the center—to build in the surrounding biopark.

"It helps redefine this region as a great location for biomanufacturing," said Paul Vigeant, the assistant chancellor for economic development at UMass Dartmouth.

The 38,000-square-foot center has the capacity to host three of four companies at a time but will often have one or two, and roughly 15 to 18 a year, Vigeant said. Companies will likely rent space for a few weeks at a time, he said, at a cost far less than traditional testing options for startups, which can sometimes be prohibitive. . .View Full Article

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