UMass system honored for economic development efforts

By Bill Wright

The University of Massachusetts system was honored Nov. 23 with the Statewide Strategic Asset award as the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development (MAED) presented its inaugural Team Massachusetts Economic Impact awards. The UMass award was one of three “Economic Booster” awards created by MAED to recognize organizations that are making important economic-development contributions to the Commonwealth.

In accepting the award, President Jack M. Wilson said, “All five of our campuses are committed to initiating and supporting economic development efforts within their regions and throughout the Commonwealth. Economic development is central to our role as a public, land-grant university. I firmly believe that the path to economic and social development in the Commonwealth goes through the University of Massachusetts.”

MAED honored UMass for its contributions to the growth of the state’s economy in each region, citing such examples as:

UMass Medical School as the anchor for the biotechnology industry in Worcester and Central Massachusetts;

The Dartmouth campus’ support of the South Coast economy through its marine technology initiative in New Bedford and the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River;

Amherst’s partnership with the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield to promote the life sciences cluster in Western Massachusetts;

UMass Lowell’s work to promote manufacturing clusters in nanotechnology and biotechnology;

UMass Boston’s workforce development through its science education efforts in collaboration with the Boston public schools; and

Systemwide efforts including the Donahue Institute’s work to address key economic challenges facing the state, such as the retention of Hanscom and Natick military bases.

More than 400 leaders from government, industry and academia were gathered at the awards event, which also featured remarks from Citizens Financial Group President & CEO Lawrence Fish and state Secretary of Economic Development Ranch Kimball.

The Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development (MAED) is a private-public partnership dedicated to marketing Massachusetts as a location for business. MAED members provide leadership in promoting Massachusetts’ economic strength to a global marketplace and in fostering business growth within the Commonwealth.