Updated March 28 at 6:24am

UMass Dartmouth completes first stage of MAB construction


DARTMOUTH – Seven months after the initial groundbreaking, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth celebrated the end of the first stage of construction of the Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing with a “topping off ceremony” on Thursday in Fall River.

“The University of Massachusetts is excited to be part of the tech-led renewal of southeastern Mass.,” UMass President Robert L. Caret said in prepared remarks.

“The MAB advances our commitment, not just to the SouthCoast, but to research and scholarship that strengthens the entire state,” added Caret. We are proud to celebrate this milestone and look forward to the day when the MAB begins to change the face of the life-sciences sector in this region and the commonwealth.”

The $28 million, 35,000 square-foot facility includes four production suites, quality control labs, a research and development suite, a training lab, lecture halls and office suites as well as presentation and public access areas.

“This is one more important step in a long journey to make UMass Dartmouth the anchor of an expanded life sciences supercluster in Massachusetts,” UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement. “On completion, our world-class researchers and students will have a first-in-the-world facility to create the new therapies and make the new breakthroughs that can revolutionize medical treatment.”

According to a UMass release, roughly 120 construction jobs have been created during work on the facility. The school called this a “down payment” on the permanent, high-paying jobs that will be created after the facility is completed in the fall.

The Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing will anchor a growing SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park beginning in January 2014.

“This world-class facility, unique in the U.S., will be an important new resource for our entire life sciences supercluster, and will support the state’s efforts to promote advanced manufacturing across the entire state,” Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said in a statement.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invested $14.6 million in the project through a capital grant from the Massachusetts Life Science Center. UMass Dartmouth is investing $10 million in capital funds and another $3 million is anticipated from equipment grants and corporate donations, according to the release.


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