Capistran appointed to state Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative
James D. Capistran, executive director of the UMass Innovation Institute (UMII), has been appointed as a member of the executive committee of the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative. The appointment was announced Sept. 11 by Gregory P. Bialecki, state secretary of Housing and Economic Development.
Capistran was appointed executive director of UMII in September 2011 after serving as interim for three months. The UMII serves as the campus portal for industry and is designed to increase opportunities for research support and to efficiently and effectively move research outcomes from campus laboratories into society. The overall goal of UMII is to have an impact regional and national economic growth by ensuring that knowledge and technology developed at UMass Amherst is rapidly and broadly disseminated to advance the nation’s social and economic interests.
“I look forward to working with this committed group of business, government and academic leaders,” Capistran says. “It’s also fitting that UMass Amherst will be able to play an important role in developing and expanding our state economy as it demonstrates to the nation and the world the power of research and ideas in the marketplace.”
For the past four years, UMass Amherst has worked area small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find out how the university can translate new science and technologies into job creation and market growth. The campus has been working with the Regional Employment Board (REB) of Hampden County on the Precision Machining Regional Alliance Project that engages the precision manufacturing cluster in the region. Capistran and UMass Amherst secured a National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation award of $600,000 to support these efforts working with the REB and the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association.
The AMC, established by the Legislature, is a group of leaders from industry, academia and government that seeks to enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturing and lead the national effort to revitalize this country as a place that makes things. The AMC is working to carry out a five-point agenda that reflects a yearlong dialogue with the state’s business and academic leaders through Gov. Deval Patrick’s Advanced Manufacturing Initiative steering committee, originally convened in May 2010. The agenda reflects the steering committee’s thoughts on promoting manufacturing, workforce development, technical assistance and innovation, the cost of doing business, and access to capital.
The work of the AMC aligns Massachusetts with President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and seven other states through the National Governors Association Center of Best Practices Policy Academy on Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation.