"Manufacturing Our Future Summit 2002" Hosted by WPI

Annual Industry Conference Focusing on Central Mass. Biotech Opportunities

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass.-- Central Massachusetts' manufacturing industry will be in the spotlight on Monday, December 2, as members of the regional business, government and academic community gather for the annual Manufacturing Our Future Summit at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). This year's summit will focus on new business opportunities within the rapidly growing biomedical and bioengineering cluster in the region. The summit program will run from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in WPI's Campus Center. Tickets to the summit are $40 if purchased beforehand, and $50 at the door.

Attendees will learn how to connect to the latest initiatives driving economic development in the region: the recent opening of a Bioengineering Institute at WPI; the new research facility at UMass Medical School; and Gateway Park, the newest location in Worcester for bioengineering, biotechnology research and manufacturing. The summit will include presentations on technological infrastructure, educational partnerships and real estate opportunities to illustrate how the region can compete in the global economy.

Scheduled speakers include Dr. Alejandro Aruffo of Abbott Bioresearch Center, Wayne Ayers of FleetBoston Financial, Michael Hogan of MassDevelopment, and Congressman James McGovern, as well as other key area business and community leaders.

A networking reception, sponsored by WPI's Venture Forum, immediately follows the summit.

The summit is organized by the Manufacturing Advancement Center (MAC) and is sponsored by MassMEP, Providence and Worcester Railroad, Worcester Business Development Corporation, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Worcester Telegram & Gazette and WPI.

"The manufacturing of biomedical and bioengineered devices has the potential to dramatically transform the manufacturing landscape of central Massachusetts," says Timothy R. Gerrity, Ph.D., director of WPI's Bioengineering Institute and summit speaker. "This is especially true with governments, universities and other organizations encouraging manufacturers with new public-private partnerships, such as WPI's Bioengineering Institute, to capitalize on the opportunities in this cutting-edge sector of the manufacturing industry."

For more information about the summit, contact Katherine Mahoney at (508) 831-7020 or kmahoney@wpi.edu. Or visit the summit Web site at www.massmac.org/mofsummit.htm.

About the Manufacturing Advancement Center

The Manufacturing Advancement Center (MAC) is a private, not-for-profit, 501 (c)3 corporation founded to increase the competitiveness of local small manufacturers. The MAC provides three basic services to manufacturers: (1) the administration and operation of industry network clusters; (2) the design, development and implementation of workforce training programs and; (3) the incubation and nurturing of young enterprises.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.