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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) And Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives To Announce Incubator Facility

6/30/2006 10:19:02 AM

WORCESTER, Mass., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As an important new step in the continuing growth and development of the life sciences-based economy in Central Massachusetts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) will establish the Gateway Park Incubator. This new venture will identify and capture academic research discoveries in the life sciences and translate them into viable companies and jobs. It will include laboratories, shared equipment, and offices for up to six start-up biomedical companies, and will be located on the ground floor of the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, under construction at Gateway Park. The facility will be adjacent to the university's Bioengineering Institute, which will play a central role in the incubator program. The start-up companies housed by the incubator are expected to generate about 25 new jobs during the facility's first three to five years.

MBI will build out and operate the incubator, which is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2007. MBI has a proven history in promoting the successful statewide economic development strategy of life science business incubation. Further technology growth is also envisioned within Gateway Park as "graduate" companies grow and require more space, generating additional employment opportunities within the burgeoning regional biomedical industry.

The WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center is a four-story, 124,600-square-foot facility that will house modern laboratories and support facilities, offices, and other amenities. When the building opens in early 2007, WPI's life sciences-related research programs and the WPI Bioengineering Institute will occupy about 75% of the space. The remainder is being leased to businesses and commercial entities. The building's architect is Tsoi/Kobus & Associates; the contractor is Consigli Construction Co. Inc.

The center is the first building in the Gateway Park project, an 11-acre, master-planned redevelopment of a former Worcester brownfield. At build-out, the development will feature between 500,000 and one million square feet of mixed-use space to attract academic and corporate collaborators, and make a significant impact on the economic development of the region. Gateway Park is part of the larger 55-acre Gateway redevelopment district that is currently home to numerous businesses, offices, fine restaurants, and business services, as well as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

Who: The keynote address will be delivered by U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern Other speakers are expected to include State Secretary of Economic Affairs Ranch Kimball, MBI Chair Abraham W. Haddad, MBI Board Member David Grenon, MBI President and CEO Kevin O'Sullivan, WPI President Dennis D. Berkey, Worcester City Manager Michael V. O'Brien, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Augustus, and Massachusetts Representative Vincent A. Pedone. Dr. Haddad and President Berkey will participate in a symbolic lease signing. When: 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 5, 2006 Where: Site of the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center 60-68 Prescott Street Worcester, Mass. About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the first engineering and technology universities in the nation. WPI's 18 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to the BA, BS, MS, ME, MBA and PhD. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and information security. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Perspectives program. There are over 20 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

About Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives

Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) is a private, nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to job creation throughout Massachusetts by promoting the growth of start-up biomedical companies. MBI offers support to creative entrepreneurs with sound scientific and business plans. Through its MBI Incubator facilities located in Worcester, MBI lowers barriers to success for emerging companies by providing cost-effective, high- quality laboratory space and support services. MBI is committed to collaborating with the academic and business communities, and local and state governments, to promote Massachusetts as an international leader in the biomedical industry.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

CONTACT: Michael Dorsey of Worcester Polytechnic Institute,+1-508-831-5609,

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