Robotics innovation space MassRobotics receives MassWorks grant for expansion and continued innovation
Robotics innovation space, MassRobotics has been awarded a $2.5 million MassWorks grant to help expand its operations. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides funding for municipalities and other eligible public entities to support and accelerate housing and job growth in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker presented the $2.5 million MassWorks grant award to the City of Boston at the annual Boston Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum.
MassRobotics is an independent, nonprofit organization with a mission to create and grow the next generation of robotics and smart connected device companies in Massachusetts. It provides entrepreneurs and innovators the facilities and resources they need to develop, prototype, test, challenge and nurture early ideas. MassRobotics is the result of the collective work of a group of engineers, rocket scientists and entrepreneurs with a shared vision to create a strong, vibrant robotics and IoT ecosystem in Massachusetts. MassRobotics’ mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics/automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solution
According to the press release, MassRobotics opened 15,000 sq.ft. of shared workspace in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park in February 2017. Since then, it has grown to house more than 30 companies and organizations, including startups, mature robotics companies and university teams, with more than 70 people working in the space.
“Year one has been a tremendous success. MassRobotics is busting at the seams, with every office and lab bench taken. We provide a center of gravity to Boston’s robotics community, and are truly becoming the epicenter of robotics innovation. To support that growth, we need to expand, and we are excited about the cooperation and support from the City of Boston in this process,” said Tom Ryden, executive director, MassRobotics.
Since 2016, MassRobotics has built a growing network of partners, including Amazon Robotics, iRobot, Panasonic, Autodesk, Harmonic Drive, CIC, Vecna Technologies and GE. These partners play a key role in validating the corporate infrastructure needed to engage with more innovative robotics startups. In addition to providing the initial funding that enabled MassRobotics secure its current space and start operation, they also actively engage with resident startups by providing funding, technical and products support, and market access.
“The value of MassRobotics to Massachusetts and the industry is clear. I am grateful for our 25 founding and annual partners, and look forward to working with them and others in realizing MassRobotics’ phase II and expansion plan,” said Fady Saad, MassRobotics co-founder and director of partnerships. “This grant opens the door to more robust partnerships and sponsorship, and the space for robotics in Boston to grow.”
With the City of Boston’s support, MassRobotics will build-out up to 35,000 sq. ft. of additional space to include: private offices; open shared lab, prototyping and test space; a machine shop with 3D printers, laser cutters, and other tools to help make parts; electronics lab; and dedicated labs for advanced manufacturing robots and university-supported research. There will also be public event space and a dedicated STEM lab where students and others can learn about the latest technologies that will be impact and inspire them.