Baker-Polito Administration Awards $7 Million to Support Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives and Job Creation

Friday, October 6, 2017
Massachusetts Governor website


Baker-Polito Administration Awards $7 Million to Support Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives and Job Creation

Funding supports job growth and innovation and growth in Commonwealth’s manufacturing sector

AMHERST – In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $7 million in funding to support growth in seven innovative advanced manufacturing projects across the Commonwealth through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2). The funding supports critical research and development infrastructure at advanced manufacturing projects in leading sectors such as advanced functional fabrics, integrated photonics, robotics, & flexible-hybrid electronics.

Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash made the announcement at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where they toured its nanomanufacturing and additive manufacturing facilities as part of the continued importance of manufacturing to the Commonwealth’s economic future during the event at UMass Amherst.

“Advanced sensors, smart construction materials and adaptable clothing are just a few of the innovative products that will be developed in Massachusetts’ evolving manufacturing sector over the coming decades,” said Governor Baker. “These awards will ensure the Commonwealth remains a leader in advanced manufacturing to spur job growth and train students for valuable career opportunities.”

The Baker-Polito Administration has committed more than $100 million in funding over five years to the M2I2 effort, which provides a vehicle for the Commonwealth to invest in the Manufacturing USA program and advance innovation and job growth through cross-collaboration among companies, universities, national labs, government, incubators, accelerators, and other academic/training institutions.

“Today’s awards represent our Administration’s focus on building on our strengths, investing in critical R&D infrastructure at our world-class research institutions, national labs and innovative companies that will expand training opportunities,” said Secretary Ash. “Manufacturing has the ability to drive employment statewide and provide extremely competitive salaries for workers, while also advancing the development of revolutionary products. This Administration is committed to expanding opportunities in manufacturing and to increasing access to cutting-edge R&D tools.”

"It's exciting to see investments from the Commonwealth to support advanced manufacturing, said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “It will help grow our economy, keep us competitive, and is exactly what we need to do right now."

Under the Manufacturing USA program, Massachusetts is convening the national effort to develop revolutionary functional fibers and textiles, and participating in regional manufacturing innovation institutes in robotics, integrated photonics, flexible hybrid electronics, and biopharma manufacturing.

The awards announced today during Massachusetts Manufacturing Month will fund seven projects from four of the national manufacturing institutes, including those focused on flexible-hybrid electronics (NextFlex), advanced functional fabrics (AFFOA), integrated photonics (AIM Photonics), and robotics (ARM):

Grantee(s) & Location(s) Amount Description Affiliated Manufacturing USA Institute
Analog Photonics (Boston, Mass.) $1,390,000 Building a new industry, and a new ecosystem for supporting the development of sophisticated automated design software and the required Intellectual Property (IP) Blocks for the fabrication of novel integrated photonics. AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics)
MIT Lincoln Labs (Lexington, Mass.) $1,900,000 Germanium deposition tool to complete and establish the nation’s first DoD Trusted Integrated Photonics Fabrication Prototyping Facility for the development of defense-related products for advanced computing (quantum, cryogenic, all-optical) and sensing (bio screening, AVs, microwave radar). AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics)
MIT/Ministry of Supply (Cambridge and Boston, Mass.) $90,000 The project will result in a new type of garment that can sense and adapt comfort to the local climate by changing garment breathability and body blood circulation, addressing key needs in the emerging athletic and defense smart clothing markets. This 3D-Knitting technology can bring back apparel production to Massachusetts. AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America)
MIT/Northeast Regional Robotics Innovation Collaborative (RRIC) in Boston at MassRobotics (Years 1 & 2: Cambridge and Boston, Mass.; Year 3: Boston and Worcester, Mass.) $500,000 in year 1; total of $1,980,000 over 3 years Develop and deploy “Teach-Bot”, an innovative robotics instructor and demonstration machine that interacts with the learner; training targets experienced manufacturing workers, to arm them with new skills to deploy, program and maintain robots in the workplace. ARM (Advanced Robotics Manufacturing)
MRSI (Billerica, Mass.) $570,000 Develop a tool that can place lasers onto silicon photonics with sub-micron precision, allowing MRSI to compete with or exceed industry leaders, expand its market share, and create more jobs in Billerica, Mass. AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics)
Saint-Gobain/UMass-Lowell (Northborough, Mass.; Lowell, Mass.) $550,000 Development of an optical fabric that can be woven into infrastructure and provide a groundbreaking civil infrastructure monitoring system (buildings, pipelines, bridges & tunnels, rail lines, etc.). AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America)
UMass - Amherst/Uniqarta (Amherst, Mass.) $500,000 The Ultra-Thin Die Assembly for advanced flexible-hybrid electronics (FHE) Systems will address key manufacturing gaps and workforce development needs critical to the deployment of FHE technologies. NextFlex
Total $6,980,000    

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy highlighted the importance of its new award in driving next-generation advanced manufacturing and training at the campus and statewide.

“Governor Baker and his administration clearly understand the value of bringing together academia, government, and industry to create an innovative economic environment that positions the Commonwealth competitively for continued success,” said Chancellor Subbaswamy. “The investments in research announced today at our flagship campus include support for our game-changing Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst, and such strategic funding helps drive the innovation economy throughout the state.”

According to the recently launched Manufacturing in Massachusetts website, 10.1% of the Commonwealth’s total economic output is tied to manufacturing and $26 billion in manufactured goods were exported from the Commonwealth in 2016 alone. Roughly 250,000 employees work in the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts, comprising 7.8% of the total workforce in the state.

“Massachusetts has a long history of driving innovation in manufacturing and has a strong base of workers in this space, but the way we manufacture products is changing, relying less on repetition and more on innovation,” said Ira Moskowitz, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Programs at the Innovation Institute at MassTech, which manages the Commonwealth’s investments in the M2I2 program.  “Today’s awards are an important step to prepare our workers and companies for the future. Under M2I2, we are continuing to identify projects that will grow our base of advanced manufacturing firms and encourage Massachusetts firms to engage with us and with this program.”  

To learn more about the M2I2 program, including how Massachusetts manufacturers can apply for grants, visit

About M2I2:

Launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2016, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) aims to help Massachusetts manufacturers adopt innovative new technologies and provides the Commonwealth to invest in the Manufacturing USA program. The Administration has committed $100 million-plus in funding over five years to support M2I2 projects across the Commonwealth, investments which are managed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Through the creation of sector-specific Manufacturing USA Centers, M2I2 will advance innovations and job growth within the state through cross-collaboration among companies, universities, national labs, government, incubators, accelerators, and other academic and training institutions. For more information visit



William Pitman, Governor’s Office,

Michelle Hillman, Housing and Economic Development, michelle.m.hillman@MassMail.State.MA.US