Life Science

MLSC Grants will Grow Innovation Economy & Prepare a Trained Workforce

‘=loucester –  Recently,  Governor Charlie Baker announced a total of $3 million in capital grant funding for the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, and for middle and high schools in Gloucester, Lynn, and Salem. The grants, from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, advance the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to build a highly trained workforce and seed job creation in regions across Massachusetts.


Governor Baker announced the grant funding today at an event at the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI), alongside MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready, Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Sen. Bruce Tarr, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, GMGI staff and students, and other area grant recipients.


The awards are part of a statewide grant round that is delivering a total of $39 million in MLSC capital grants to 14 research and educational institutions, and 49 middle and high schools.


“Our administration is proud of Massachusetts’s global leadership in the life sciences, and we are committed to advancing that standing training the next generation of entrepreneurs, and connecting residents across the state to careers,” said Governor Baker. “The projects announced today, including the expansion of GMGI and grants for STEM equipment at four North Shore schools, demonstrate our commitment to investing in the innovation economy, supporting game-changing technological research, and creating jobs in every region of the Commonwealth.”


“These capital grants from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center deepen our administration’s efforts to build vibrant regions, from Cape Ann to the Berkshires,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By training middle school and high school students on state-of-the-art STEM equipment, and creating new pipelines for workforce development and scientific breakthroughs, these awards will create new economic opportunities on the North Shore, and help build a stronger Massachusetts.”


“One of our capital investment plan priorities is to make strategic investments in the future workforce of the Commonwealth, including STEM programs for our students,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “By awarding these capital grants today, the administration is once again leveraging our resources to invest in the Commonwealth’s growing biotech industry.”


“Massachusetts is building the nation’s most competitive economy by investing in workforce development, and in the infrastructure of innovation,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “By building a platform for marine genomics research in Gloucester, and improving the quality of STEM education for students in Gloucester, Lynn, and Salem, these awards will help make the North Shore a more dynamic place to live and work, and they will equip local residents with the skills needed to retain Massachusetts’s title as the most innovative state in the nation.”


“Our capital grant will enable the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute to pursue an exciting project that combines workforce training with cutting-edge innovation in genomics, a field where Massachusetts has consistently been a world leader,” said Travis McCready, President and CEO of the MLSC. “Through our STEM equipment and supply grants, area high schools and middle schools will be better positioned to connect students with job opportunities in the fast-growing Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem. In both cases, we are excited to play a role in supporting the economic resurgence of the Gloucester area.”


Today Gov. Baker announced $2.7 million in capital funding for the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute. The grant funds will build out and equip a world-class marine genomics research institute on Gloucester Harbor. By integrating the dynamic components of scientific discovery and workforce development, GMGI is working to bring a biotech hub to Cape Ann. The GMGI has already launched the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, which prepares recent high school graduates for careers in the life sciences industries. The MLSC capital funding will allow the GMGI to construct a new center for genetic research grounded in marine organisms, with applications that include commercial fishing.


“We are honored to be one of the recipients of the MLS capital award,” said Chris Munkholm, Executive Director of the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute. “This generous grant allows us to build a marine genomics institute in which world-class research will unlock scientific discoveries that can impact human health and create opportunities we cannot yet imagine.”


Gov. Baker also announced more than $260,000 in STEM Equipment and Supply grant funding for the following area middle and high schools:


Gloucester High School, Gloucester – $109,154

Gloucester High School will establish a new biotechnology laboratory, and will launch a new program in biotechnology. The new program will enable Gloucester students to enter college programs of study in biotechnology with a solid knowledge of biotechnology concepts and lab skills, or directly enter the workforce in biotechnology laboratories.


O’Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester – $56,933

Grant funding will allow the O’Maley Innovation Middle School to expand Next Generation Science Standards programming, by providing equipment that will enable students to understand disease processes at the microbial level.


Lynn English High School, Lynn – $57,311

Lynn English will increase students’ science literacy, laboratory skill development, applications of technology, and interest in science related careers, by offering training in biotechnology laboratory skills to 9th grade students, and including new biotechnology techniques in Introduction to Biotechnology, Honors Biotechnology, Honors Biology, and AP Biology curriculums for 11th and 12th grade students.


Collins Middle School, Salem – $39,525

The Collins Middle School will purchase equipment and supplies to create a maker space, and implement Project Lead the Way life sciences and STEM courses.


“Gloucester is thrilled to be awarded this life sciences capital grant, which will further expand our workforce development initiatives throughout the region,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “Our maritime heritage continues to evolve and by embracing the opportunities within genomic research and STEM-related fields, Gloucester is well positioned to empower the next generation of skilled workers across numerous industries. We are truly proud of the innovative approach that Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute has established here and we are excited to see more skill-based programs enrich our community for the better.”


“The Institute is moving forward in advancing our scientific understanding of marine biotechnology and its work is making Cape Ann a hub for developing much needed skilled workers and a resource for the type of sound information desperately needed to manage our fisheries,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. “America’s oldest fishing community is also the home of the newest world-class genomics research center whose mission is better understanding fish populations and the ecosystems of commercial fisheries.”


“I want to thank the Governor for coming to Gloucester and learning about the project first hand as well as for this extraordinary investment in Genomics on Cape Ann,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante. “This funding will go far in helping GMGI achieve its next steps and making Gloucester a marine research and biotech hub in Massachusetts. I look forward to working with Governor Baker, Senator Tarr and Mayor Theken on other economic develop projects around our harbor.”


Funding for the awards is drawn from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Competitive Capital Program, and the Center’s competitive STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program.


The MLSC’s Competitive Capital Program provides grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences workforce development and training, research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in the Commonwealth. The program funds high-potential economic development projects by nonprofit entities that make significant contributions to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $405 million to support capital projects across the state.


The MLSC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Equipment and Supplies Grant Program funds the purchase of equipment and supplies for high schools and middle schools in the Commonwealth. The program helps schools train students for life sciences careers, increase student achievement and student interest in STEM fields, and support the implementation of the state’s STEM standards. The competitive program is open to vocational-technical high schools, public high schools and middle schools located in Gateway Cities, and public high schools and middle schools with economically disadvantaged student populations. To date, the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program has awarded more than $16.3 million to 149 different schools and organizations throughout Massachusetts, and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from industry partners.