South Coast life sciences incubator gets $800K state grant

MANSFIELD – Southeastern Massachusetts’ biomanufacturing and life sciences sector will receive an $800,000 infusion of in support of innovation and training initiatives, state officials announced this week.

The grant funding, provided through the state’s Technology & Innovation Ecosystem Award program, will assist the Mansfield Bio-Incubator in research around cell and gene therapy and 3D technology, the Gov. Maura T. Healey administration announced.

The Mansfield Bio-Incubator, a nonprofit overseen by the Innovation Institute at the Mass Tech Collaborative, will partner with Wheaton College and Cambridge-based The Capital Network in managing the award, with a goal of improving access to venture capital for startups and entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the investment, state officials and life sciences leaders highlighted Massachusetts for its leading role in the biotech sphere.

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“The role of life sciences in both the well-being of humanity as a whole and the economic development will only increase in the coming years,” Alexander Margulis, CEO of Mansfield Bio-Incubator said in a statement.

“With Massachusetts being at the forefront of groundbreaking scientific discoveries, more mini clusters across the state will cement the Commonwealth’s lofty status as a life science mecca,” Margulis continued. “The partnerships, such as one between MassTech Collaborative and Mansfield Bio-Incubator, are critical for implementing this vision.”

Healey added that the biomanufacturing sector “has the potential to make Massachusetts more sustainable while at the same time meeting our production needs, workforce demands and business development goals.”

In addition to the Boston-Cambridge area, known globally as a capital for biotech innovation, neighboring Massachusetts communities like Worcester and Mansfield have more recently started developing a reputation of their own.

Rhode Island hopes to follow in these footsteps, with officials last year announcing legislation to establish a life sciences-focused hub in the Ocean State. State leaders are currently in the process of establishing the hub’s first full governing board, with Gov. Daniel J. McKee having nominated former Rhode Island Foundation CEO Neil D. Steinberg to lead as chairman.

With the grant, the Mansfield Bio-Incubator becomes the sixth project to receive funding from the Tech and Innovation Ecosystem program statewide, which has so far invested almost $12 million across these projects.

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.