College of Engineering

Mass Technology Collaborative awards $250,000 to Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center

Senator Joan Menard (D-Fall River) and Representative Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) are pleased to announce that the UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center (ATMC) located on Martine Streetin Fall River has received a $250,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's Renewable Energy Trust Fund. The grant has been awarded as a result of the ATMC's proposal to establish a Marine Renewable Energy Center (MREC) in a collaborative effort with officials in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.  The Center's goal is to accelerate the use and commercialization of marine renewable energy technologies.

"I am extremely pleased that this $250,000 was awarded," remarked Senator Menard. "It is a reflection of the tremendous amount of respect the scientific community and the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has for the cutting edge research done at UMass Dartmouth and in Fall River at the ATMC."

"As an unequivocal supporter of renewable energy, I am very grateful that the Mass Tech Collaborative has decided to invest their resources with the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center," said Representative Rodrigues. "Surely we must look to all potential sources of renewable energy, wherever they may be, in order to break our Commonwealth's dependence on fossil fuels."

"This award reflects the partnership that has been developed between UMass Dartmouth and the Cape & Islands region," Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "UMass Dartmouth, through the ATMC and our School for Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford, is prepared to launch a major effort with Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket officials to explore the ocean's potential to generate energy and transform that potential into real environmental and economic benefits for society."

"The productive relationship created between Islanders, UMass Dartmouth and area officials will help us all achieve a mutual goal - jumpstarting the deployment marine renewable energy," said Edgartown Selectman Arthur Smadback. Edgartown has received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for a proposed tide engine project in Muskeget Channel, located in between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, that will provide power to both islands.  This federal approval will allow for the creation of MREC in Muskeget Channel.

UMass Dartmouth, through the ATMC, is proposing to establish MREC to perform on-shore and in-water testing and demonstration of wave, tidal, current and off-shore wind renewable energy projects.  Technical expertise from the School for Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford will also be critical to project. Establishing MREC will allow Massachusetts to compete for substantial federal funding in marine renewable energy and create marine testing and demonstration capabilities - currently only available in Europe.

The University has been working closely with the SouthCoast, Cape & Islands, and South Shore state legislative delegations; the Congressional offices of U.S. Reps. William Delahunt, Barney Frank, and James McGovern; the UMass System President's Office and local officials in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to shape the initiative.

About the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative:

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state's development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy, which is responsible for one-quarter of all jobs in the state. MTC administers the John Adams Innovation Institute and the Renewable Energy Trust. MTC works to stimulate economic activity in communities throughout the Commonwealth, using a collaborative approach to achieving the organization's mission. MTC brings together leaders from industry, academia, and government to advance technology-based solutions that lead to economic growth and a cleaner environment in Massachusetts.

About the UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center:

Opened in the 2001 on the former site of a textile mill, the 60,000 square foot Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center houses UMass Dartmouth laboratories,  an incubator for start-up companies, space for established technology companies seeking a foothold in southeastern Massachusetts, and conferencing space. The ATMC also connects the talent of UMass Dartmouth faculty, students and staff to companies in the facility and throughout the region. UMass Dartmouth students benefit from the ATMC through internships and research projects related to the companies.

Author: "John Hoey"
Date: 11-4-2008

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