2007-2008

Federal, State, and City Dignitaries, Esteemed Scientists to Gather for Official Opening of WPI’s Gateway Park

The WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park will officially open with a weeklong celebration Sept. 17-21.  The development of Gateway Park is a major investment in the future of life science research and education at WPI and is also critical to the economic development of central Massachusetts.

A Weeklong Grand Opening Celebration of Gateway Park September 17 -21; Biotech Makes Giant Move Westward

What:

Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center will officially open with a weeklong celebration Sept. 17-21.   The development of Gateway Park is a major investment in the future of life science research and education at WPI.  The Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center will serve as WPI’s hub for graduate education and research in the life sciences and related engineering fields.  Its research areas will include regenerative medicine, molecular nanotechnology and biosensors, plant systems, tissue engineering, and untethered healthcare.

Gateway Park is also critical to the economic development of central Massachusetts; WPI has worked closely with the Worcester Business Development Corp. (WBDC) and state and federal officials to make it a centerpiece for the growth of the life sciences industry in New England.  Its buildings are being custom-designed to answer the specific needs of the life sciences researchers and companies with flexible, adaptable lab space, and cutting-edge wireless infrastructure.  Furthermore, Gateway Park is allowing for economic development in Worcester, while simultaneously preserving historically significant buildings and revitalizing the community.

Why:

A large number of biotech and life sciences companies have already chosen to move to central Massachusetts because of lower operating costs and easy access to university researchers, clinical trial sites, trained labor, etc.  In the past five years, 49 of the 100 largest biotech firms in Massachusetts have located between Rt. 128 and Worcester, with only one of the top 25 medial device firms remaining in Boston.  Worcester offers an environment rich with investors and incentives offering a variety of funding sources.  It is home to a highly educated workforce of professionals in science, technology, and management and boasts an affordable cost of living and superior quality of life.  Worcester also holds the key to the success of any life science undertaking in that it brings together a confluence of “the eds and the meds” with 14 academic institutions of higher learning and two major hospital systems. The move westward by large and small companies creates an exciting opportunity for Worcester, the second largest city in New England.

Who/When/Where:

Monday, Sept. 17: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, 10 a.m., 60 Prescott Street, Worcester

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • Congressman James McGovern
  • Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray
  • Worcester Mayor Konstantina Lukes
  • Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien
  • State Senators Ed Augustus & Harriett Chandler
  • WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey
  • WBDC President David Forsberg

Thursday, Sept. 20: Bioengineering Institute Symposium, 12:30 p.m., WPI Campus Center

Subject: Regenerative Bioscience and Engineering. This symposium will feature world renowned experts from around the nation and Britain in the field of regenerative medicine. See full details at the symposium site.

To summarize, the talks will cover

  • Extracellular-Based Tissue Regeneration
  • Cell Biology of Tissue Regeneration
  • Early Embryonic Development and Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer
  • Cardiac Regeneration
  • Stem Cells in Cancer Biology
  • Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer and Alteration of Genomic Potential

Friday, Sept. 21:Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Life Sciences and Bioengineering/Convocation to Honor 2006 Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, 10 a.m., Alden Memorial, WPI Campus

Subject: WPI will confer an honorary doctorate in science upon Nobel Laureate Craig C. Mello, PhD, professor of molecular medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. Following the convocation, Dr. Mello will deliver a lecture titled, “Return to the RNAi World: Rethinking Gene Expression, Evolution, and Medicine"

About Gateway Park

Gateway Park is a joint venture of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC). Located in Worcester, near the intersection of I-190 and I-290, Gateway Park is designed as an 11 acre, mixed-use destination for life sciences and biotech companies and the people who work for them.  The project includes: five life sciences buildings totaling 500,000 square feet of flexible, adaptable lab space designed to meet the needs of research organizations, 241,000 sq. ft. of market rate, loft condominiums as well as several planned retail establishments. WPI is also exploring the possibility of graduate student housing on one of the sites. Gateway Park is part of the larger 55-acre Gateway redevelopment district. It is currently home to numerous businesses, offices, restaurants, and business services, as well as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

September 12, 2007