DARTMOUTH – O’Neill Power Systems, an early stage company based in Lakeville, Mass., that manufactures lightweight helicopter engines for unmanned aerial vehicles, has joined the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center.
The UMass center is an incubator for emerging companies like O’Neill, providing structure and resources to help them develop into technology and manufacturing leaders in New England and beyond.
“O’Neil is a great addition to the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center. We are excited to provide them access to state-of-the-art facilities, university resources and technical expertise to enhance [the company’s] competitive position within its industry,” said Paul Vigeant, director of the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center.
O’Neill’s coaxial counter-rotational engine, called The NorEaster, is designed for use inside an unmanned helicopter with a lift capacity of 400 lbs. Such unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, gained public attention last week when Amazon unveiled its prototype package-delivery drones.
In 2012, The NorEaster was named one of the top 10 inventions of the year by Popular Science magazine.
“Our innovative NorEaster technology will satisfy the unmet lightweight UAV power system needs for the defense, agriculture and other civilian markets,” said Jim O’Neill, founder and president of O’Neill Power Systems. “An important part of building toward that future will be the growth and innovation we can achieve utilizing the resources available to us at the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center.”
Eleven companies in the clean energy, marine technology, biotechnology and life sciences, and software industries currently occupy space at the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center. The center has successfully graduated 15 companies, 80 percent of which have stayed in Massachusetts to help grow the local economy, according to UMass.
The Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center saw annual sales of over $50 million in 2013, and to date its companies have generated more than 200 jobs.