Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MassDevelopment issues innovation centers RFP

Ken O’Brien

MassDevelopment has issued a request for proposals from small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises seeking to create "innovation centers". The program is designed to give companies access to expertise and equipment they lack in-house, according to the state's finance and development agency.

Known as the Manufacturing Futures Program, the effort will subsidize the cost of contracting with innovation centers selected under the RFP to solve technical problems that can hinder growth. 

Existing organizations, including nonprofit and for-profit companies, universities and incubators, that have the capability to meet the needs of manufacturing companies, are eligible to submit proposals, according to Kelsey Abbruzzese, spokeswoman for MassDevelopment.

"These innovation centers will serve small- and medium-sized manufacturers at a greatly reduced cost, and we look forward to the partnerships that will develop," MassDevelopment Executive Vice President of Finance Programs Laura Canter said in a statement. 

The agency will pay for the lesser of 75 percent or $75,000 of the cost of contracting with the innovation centers, while companies will pay the remaining cost. Companies must have fewer than 100 employees to participate. Innovation center applicants must apply for designation by Oct. 3. The RFP can be read here.

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