Taunton, MA – The Taunton Development/MassDevelopment Corporation (TDMDC), a public/partnership of MassDevelopment and the Taunton Development Corporation, has signed a no-cost building lease with makerspace South Coast Innovator Labs, that will use a building at 1380 Bay Street in Taunton as its temporary headquarters.
South Coast Innovator Labs, which began in 2011 and was incorporated February 2012 as a nonprofit, did not have a physical space in which to operate, a dilemma that presented a significant barrier to increasing membership. TDMDC has provided free space to allow the organization to develop programming and grow its memberships and offerings.
The building, next to the Myles Standish Industrial Park on land that TDMDC is currently redeveloping into an extension of the existing park, will also serve as MassDevelopment and Taunton Development Corporation office space during the redevelopment.
South Coast Innovator Labs offers a collaborative workspace to bring members of the Massachusetts South Coast community together to meet, socialize, share equipment and knowledge, and collaborate on projects. In the new 5,000sf building, the organization plans to create labs and workshops on 3D design and printing, food and landscapes, electronics, metals and wood, and more. The building also features a large common conference room, which will allow South Coast Innovator Labs to hold conferences for both members and the public.
“The South Coast Innovator Labs team is excited to have an opportunity to grow the makerspace in the vision it set course on several years ago,” said Ed Beliveau, President of South Coast Innovator Labs. “We give special thanks to Dick Shafer of the Taunton Development Corporation for taking the original initiative in helping us obtain occupancy in our first facility and to all the people at MassDevelopment who worked through all the details as well as preparing the space for occupancy.”
“I am excited South Coast Innovator Labs has found their first home in Taunton,” President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) said. “They will fit in well in the same neighborhood as Myles Standish Industrial Park as we look to attract similar innovators to Southeastern Massachusetts and establish a life sciences education and training center on site. I applaud MassDevelopment and Taunton Development Corporation for making the arrival of South Coast Innovator Labs possible.”
“South Coast Innovator Labs is a wonderful addition to the Myles Standish Industrial Park and our community,” said Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye. “The lab will provide entrepreneurs with greatly needed space to share ideas, develop innovative concepts and pursue dreams without the often daunting risk of financial peril. I am excited for this opportunity for Taunton.”
“The shared workspace at the South Coast Innovator Labs facility will foster creativity, collaboration, and innovation in southeastern Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Given our support of advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurialism, MassDevelopment is proud to offer South Coast a startup space. We are eager to see what the South Coast makers accomplish.”
TDMDC’s lease with South Coast Innovator Labs builds on MassDevelopment’s continuing support of makerspace initiatives. As part of MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative, entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities can apply for grants to own, sponsor, or operate collaborative workspaces. In 2013, MassDevelopment commissioned and released a report titled Innovation in Manufacturing: Makerspaces, a first-ever inventory of makerspaces in the Commonwealth that defines what they are and what can be done to help them grow.