Mass High Tech Journal, Friday, January 27, 2012

By Rodney H. Brown

True to its word from a year ago, the state of Massachusetts has ponied up nearly $15 million for a new biomanufacturing plant tied to UMass Dartmouth.

In a release Friday, the Massachusetts Life Scinences Center board of directors gave final approval to a $14.6 million capital grant to fund the building of the new Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center in Fall River.

The 32,000-square-foot facility will house early stage life sciences companies and span four acres of city-donated land, while 150 acres will be held for potential expansion. The Masachusetts Biomanufacturing Center will anchor the new 300 acres SouthCoast Life Science and Technology park in Fall River. Companies graduating from the center will be encouraged to expand on abutting land set aside in the Life Science Park.

The state has finished a $36 million exit ramp off Route 24 to direct cars in to the bio-park. The state backing and approval of the facility was announced in January 2011.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, within its College of Engineering, will create new programs that “match the education needs of the facility.” That ties in to the newly launched undergratuate and graduate program of studies in Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, which officials say is the only one of its kind in the UMass system.