October was Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts and there were tons of great resources available to spotlight the innovative makers that call Massachusetts home. Here are a few:
- Massachusetts Won $3.2M DoD Grant to Develop National Model for Manufacturing Technician Training (DoD ManTech) to develop a manufacturing technician training program that will serve as a national model. This award known as “MassBridge,” which will develop and test a state-based training and career pathway model for manufacturing technicians that meets the talent needs of the national Manufacturing USA Institutes and their members.
- Partners Convergent Photonics in Chicopee and Western New England University (WNE) were awarded a new grant totaling approximately $2,581,109 from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to support the development of a new advanced manufacturing center. Called a ‘Lab for Education and Application Prototyping, or LEAP, the lab will focus on product development, training, and research in the field of integrated photonics, and will be the fourth lab of its kind in the state.
- “Massachusetts is Leading Manufacturing into the Future,” the focus of a MassMEP webinar on October 9th. MassMEP President John Killam moderated the discussion which featured Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, MassTech Collaborative executive director Carolyn Kirk, and AccuRounds CEO Mike Tamasi, executives who are leading the Commonwealth’s push around manufacturing.
- Boyd Technologies in the Berkshires recently launched the first episode of their ‘Project Fronline’ docu-series, which highlighted how Massachusetts healthcare institutions and manufacturers responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects included a focus on the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT), a collaborative effort which has helped over 50 Mass. manufacturers pivot to produce over 11 million items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical items to defend against the virus. You can learn more about the project and watch the trailer on Boyd’s website.
- For those interested in how Massachusetts manufacturers stepped up to address COVID-19, the MassTech Collaborative hosts a site featuring several of the local companies that developed masks, protective gowns, hand sanitizer, and facemasks with the support of the MERT.
- Members of the MERT recently won a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a new project aimed at responding to emerging crises that builds off the success of that effort. Announced on National Manufacturing Day, October 2nd, the grant team was led by UMass Lowell in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the MassTech Collaborative.
- The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is a national non-profit manufacturing institute headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Institutes. On October 7th and 8th, AFFOA hosted their Virtual Member Event which brought together attendees from companies, universities, researchers, and public sector leaders from across the U.S. Interested in learning more about AFFOA or becoming a member? Email AFFOA’s Natasha Spackey at or Nicole Meyerson to learn more.
- Women in Manufacturing Massachusetts hosted EMPOWER 2020, a “digital conference designed to connect, engage and inspire new growth” here in the Commonwealth. The morning event featured keynotes, discussions on thought-provoking topics, and a panel featuring leaders from Kronos Incorporated, PTC, Sensata Technologies, and more.
- On October 16th, Boston-based MassRobotics and MassMEP hosted a webinar on robots in manufacturing which featured in-person presentations by some of the leading robotics companies in the state. There was also a presentation from the national Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute.
These are just a few of the things that happened during Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts! If you’re looking for additional resources to share with your networks, on our site you can find:
- Stats and info on the cutting-edge Massachusetts manufacturing ecosystem, which includes a searchable database of Massachusetts manufacturing companies;
- Resources for companies looking to grow their manufacturing presence in Massachusetts; and
- Manufacturing-focused events happening across Massachusetts during the month of October and beyond.
Thank you to all the organizations who stepped up to promote Massachusetts Manufacturing Month 2020!