Northeastern University was recently awarded $500,000 for its Foster Innovation for Seafood Handling (FISH) program as part of $3.7 million in new grants from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2).
The program is spearheaded by Professor Taskin Padir and “bring[s] collaborative robots developed at the university into processing plants at America’s busiest fishing port, located in New Bedford,” according to Fisherynation.com.
The Baker-Polito administration has committed more than $100 million in funding to the M2I2 effort, which provides a vehicle for the Commonwealth to invest in the national Manufacturing USA program and advance innovation and job growth through collaboration among companies, universities, national labs, government, incubators, accelerators and other academic/training institutions. To date, the M2I2 program has invested more than $50 million.
“The M2I2 program invests in projects that reflect the collaborative spirit of our state and highlight Massachusetts’ nation leading innovation economy,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “These awards support strong business to business partnerships that bring together innovators from across the state and we are pleased to continue to support their continued growth and development in this sector.”
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito added, “ “Massachusetts’ advanced manufacturing strength isn’t confined to one city or region, rather it emanates from one end of the state to the other. M2I2 grants are going to workplaces where technology, sensors, and innovative equipment are integrated into the manufacturing line. Through these awards, we’re investing in our homegrown manufacturers, supporting innovative partnerships and investing in high-tech tools that will help drive future job and economic growth.”
Under the Manufacturing USA program, Massachusetts is part of the national effort to develop revolutionary functional fibers and textiles, and is participating in regional manufacturing innovation in robotics, integrated photonics, flexible hybrid electronics, and biopharma. M2I2 awards support critical research and development infrastructure in four of these sectors, working closely with each of the national manufacturing institutes, including Next Flex (flexible hybrid electronics), AIM Photonics (integrated photonics), ARM (robotics), and Cambridge-based AFFOA (advanced functional fabrics). “While each of these awards is targeted to one of our key focus areas – photonics, robotics, and flexible-hybrid electronics – we also recognized how these investments could help impact the Commonwealth’s economic success in several legacy industries where Massachusetts has been a national or global leader, including commercial fishing, healthcare, and defense,” said Ira Moskowitz, director of advanced manufacturing Programs at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and the program manager for M2I2.“Our hope is that these awards not only spur growth at the program partner sites, but also have direct benefits to these target sectors and other employers in the Commonwealth, amplifying the impact of these investments.”