THE UNIVERSITY OF Massachusetts Dartmouth plans to expand its Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center through strategic internship collaborations and a business plan competition, aiming to accelerate the growth of early-stage companies and the creation of jobs in the region.
FALL RIVER – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center on Monday released plans to draw on lessons of the nation’s top business incubators to further accelerate the development of startup technology companies and build an “innovation pipeline” in the region.
Among the keys to ATMC’s future success, according to the release, will be the funding of business plan competitions to identify business ideas and internships for UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, Durfee High School and Diman Regional Vocational School students. In addition, the center will establish formal collaborations with the UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business, College of Engineering and School of Law.
“As the economy strengthens, we want to make sure that UMass Dartmouth and the ATMC are well-positioned to support fledgling companies take off on the south coast,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. “Our goal is to create an environment that nurtures emerging entrepreneurs and their ideas. We want companies, built on ideas born in the laboratories of UMass Dartmouth and in the garages of the south coast, to take root at the ATMC and graduate into the community within three years.”
Since launching in 2001, the 60,000-square-foot ATMC has hosted 41 companies, including the 12 currently in residence. Seventeen companies have graduated from the ATMC and have created 160 jobs in total.
With the local economy on the rebound, the university sees an opportunity to grow the average number of companies onsite at a given time from 12 to 20 and accelerate their graduation. Central to this strategy will be the business plan competition and aggressive marketing to identify promising companies, UMass Dartmouth said, as well as an internship program to identify talent in the region and encourage those individuals to build businesses in Massachusetts.
“The ATMC has served the region and the Commonwealth very well since it opened more than a decade ago, even during a very challenging economic downturn,” said Louis Goodman, UMass Dartmouth vice chancellor for research and economic development. “With the economy strengthening, we believe the ATMC is well-positioned to play a powerful role in assuring that this region benefits from continued economic recovery.”