Located adjacent to downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, Gateway Park (www. gatewayparkworcester.com) is a 12-acre, mixed-use destination designed to encourage economic development in the life sciences, biotechnology, and bioengineering. A joint venture of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (www.wpi.edu) and the Worcester Business Development Corporation (www.worcesterbdc.com), Gateway Park is transforming an underutilized 19th century industrial site into a state-of-the-art life sciences and biotechnology park—combining world-class research with market-rate housing, and creating up to 2,000 high-wage, high-skill jobs.
The WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, the first of five buildings planned for Gateway Park, opened in September 2007. Serving as focal point for the university’s graduate education and research programs in the life sciences, the building houses graduate research programs from four WPI academic departments, the WPI Bioengineering Institute, the university’s Corporate and Professional Education Division, and several companies, including RXi Pharmaceuticals, Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Blue Sky Biotech, CellThera, Advanced Body Sensing, and Targeted Cell Therapies. The center is also home to Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, an incubator for biotechnology and medical device companies.
Advanced work is under way in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas, clustered by research goals rather than traditional discipline, fostering innovation and cross-collaboration. These include regenerative biosciences and engineering, untethered healthcare, stem-cell biology, neuroprosthetics, bioMEMs, tissue mechanics and mechanobiology, biomaterials, plant systems, applied molecular genetics, nanoscience and technology, molecular sensors, biological imaging and sensing, and comparative neuroimaging.
At full build-out, Gateway Park will feature over $250 million in private investment and approximately 750,000 square feet of new development, including laboratory and office space, geared to both emerging and mature life sciences and bioengineering companies. To date, over $80 million has been invested to revitalize the property, including the cleanup and renovation of the first building, construction of a parking garage, utility upgrades, surface lots, and significant road improvements.
Since breaking ground in June 2005, Gateway Park, part of the larger 55-acre Gateway redevelopment district, has received numerous regional and national awards for economic development and historic preservation; most recently, the project was named a winner of the prestigious national Phoenix Award for its brownfields revitalization and received the 2007 Excellence in Economic Development Award for Urban or Suburban Economic Development from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Founded in 1865, WPI is a national research university with 18 academic departments and over 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, management, social sciences, and the humanities. WPI’s world-class faculty work with students in numerous cutting-edge research areas, including alternative energy and information security. Its Global Perspective Program has more than 20 international project centers on five continents where student projects make a difference to communities and organizations.
The Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) is a nonprofit business organization that serves as an innovative and leading force in the economic development of the Worcester region through property restoration and environmental remediation. Since its inception in 1965, WBDC has developed seven research and technology parks.