Lt. Governor Karyn Polito also announced a grant to Human Systems Integration, Inc., of Walpole, to support its collaboration with UMass Lowell to evolve its garment-embedded physiological monitoring platform.
“These awards fund innovative collaborations and R&D tools, ensuring that Massachusetts students and manufacturing workers have the tools they need to succeed in advanced manufacturing," said Polito, who also co-chairs the Commonwealth’s STEM Council. “We have made a commitment to investing in our STEM pipeline at all levels, from K-12 and community colleges and by investing in these training efforts and by funding public-private collaborations statewide, we’re ensuring that the Commonwealth’s manufacturing industry maintains a strong footing as a global leader in innovation.”
The grants awarded include $3.8 million to fund a new integrated photonics training facility that will be co-led by Bridgewater State University and Stonehill College, located in Easton where funding will support the creation of a facility for students training to be technicians or engineers in integrated photonics, a field that is revolutionizing industries such as telecommunications, precision measurements, biomedical sensing and imaging, optic and laser development, and autonomous vehicles. This will be the third Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) for integrated photonics in the Commonwealth, joining facilities at MIT and a collaborative project between Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Quinsigamond Community College in Central Massachusetts, both projects supported by M2I2.
A grant of $1.5 million was awarded to Human System Integration, Inc. (HSI) of Walpole for a collaborative project with UMass Lowell. This collaboration will support the evolution of HSI’s garment-embedded physiological monitoring platform, with the initial end-product being used to monitor the health of U.S. Air Force pilots.
According to Manufacturing in Massachusetts, 10% of the Commonwealth’s total economic output is tied to manufacturing, and Massachusetts companies exported $26 billion in manufactured goods in 2016 alone. Roughly 250,000 employees work in the Commonwealth’s manufacturing sector, comprising 7.8% of the total workforce in the state.
The Baker-Polito Administration has committed more than $100 million in funding to the M2I2 effort, which allows the Commonwealth to co-invest in projects supported by the national Manufacturing USA initiative, helping promote innovation and job growth across the state.
The new awards from the M2I2 program bring the total invested to nearly $60 million to-date, boosting advanced manufacturing projects throughout Massachusetts, supporting critical research and development infrastructure and workforce training programs. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative co-manage the M2I2 effort.
M2I2 co-invests in four of the national manufacturing institutes under Manufacturing USA, areas where Massachusetts can play a leading role globally. The Bridgewater/Stonehill Project is supported by AIM Photonics and the HSI grant by the national NextFlex institute (flexible hybrid electronics), with additional M2I2 projects supported by the ARM institute (robotics) and AFFOA(advanced functional fabrics) which is based in Cambridge, MA.
Details on the two new M2I2-funded projects, totaling $5,257,363, are below:
“Southeastern Massachusetts Lab for Education and Application Prototypes” (SEMA LEAP) - $3,807,731 – Bridgewater State University and Stonehill College
This award will create a regional integrated photonics hub centered at both Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University (BSU). The project will combine the complementary strengths, resources, and know-how of each institution to further technology, innovation, workforce training, and manufacturing in Massachusetts in Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). SEMA LEAP will train and educate photonics industry technician-level and engineering workforce to support new economic growth and development in areas such as telecommunication and data-communication, precision measurements, biomedical sensing and imaging, optic and laser development, and auto-driving.
“Garment-Embedded Physiological Monitoring Platform” - $1,449,632– Human System Integration, Inc. (HSI) – Walpole, MA
Human Systems Integration will work with its university partner, UMass Lowell, to evolve its garment-embedded physiological monitoring platform. The goal of the project is for HSI to adapt and enhance this platform and make it configurable for the integration of a broad suite of physiological and environmental sensors. These sensors will objectively measure, non-invasively monitor, and report medical-grade physiological and performance status of the wearer. This award will help HSI, and emerging Massachusetts industry partners, to establish a garment-embedded electronics supply chain for multiple products, applications and markets. The project at hand, focused on a physiological monitoring solution for Air Force pilots, offers a stepping stone towards the development and deployment of a chronic monitoring solution for sick and at-risk patients.
“This award helps us continue to develop and manufacture wearable electronics solutions that protect and save lives. It also enables us to expand our supply chain, technology and clinical partnerships in Massachusetts," said Brian Farrell, president of HSI, Inc. "Garment-based physiological monitoring expands the level and quality of information that can be extracted from the human body. It enables the development and manufacturing of innovative products and solutions for remote patient monitoring..."
“Intercollegiate collaboration is a powerful tool that enables our higher education institutions to combine resources and continue offering their students cutting-edge facilities," said Sen. Marc R. Pacheco.