Worcester, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received the 2006 James D. P. Farrell Brownfields Project of the Year Award from the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC). The award recognizes the successful remediation and redevelopment of Gateway Park in Worcester, Mass., an 11-acre master-planned redevelopment of a former brownfield into a mixed-use, life-science-based campus. WPI shared the award with the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC), its partner in the development of Gateway Park.
The Farrell Award, established in 2002, is presented annually to a brownfields project that exemplifies excellence in overcoming social, economic, technical, and institutional challenges. Each year, through its annual awards program, the Environmental Business Council recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for outstanding accomplishments in the promotion of a sustainable, clean environment. WPI Provost and Senior Vice President Carol Simpson accepted the Farrell Award at the EBC's annual dinner last month.
WPI is developing Gateway Park jointly with the WBDC. Construction of the park's first building, the four-story, 124,600-square-foot WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, began in the summer of 2005 and is scheduled to be completed early next year. WPI will occupy about 75 percent of the building, which will serve as the focal point for the university's graduate research in the life sciences and related engineering fields. The building will house graduate research programs in biology and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and chemistry and biochemistry, along with the university's Bioengineering Institute. The remainder of the space is being leased to business and commercial entities.
On July 5, WPI signed an agreement with Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) to create the Gateway Park Incubator. To be built and operated by MBI, the facility will be located on the ground floor of the new building, adjacent to the Bioengineering Institute, which will play a central role in the incubator program. It will include laboratories, shared equipment, and offices for up to six start-up biomedical companies, which are expected to generate about 25 new jobs during the facility's first three to five years.
Gateway Park's master plan calls for three additional pad-ready sites to be developed to support buildings of 80,000, 100,000, and 160,000 square feet. A 1.7-acre parcel is also available for housing. At build-out, the development will feature between 500,000 and one million square feet of mixed-use space to attract academic and corporate collaborators, helping the university make a significant contribution to the economic development of the region.
About the Environmental Business Council of New England
Conceived in 1990 by environmental and energy company executives, the EBC was the first organization in the United States established to support and foster the development of the environmental industry. The organization seeks to enhance business and job growth of both established and emerging environmental and energy businesses. It provides member companies with an array of programs, activities, and information to enable them to stay on the cutting edge of environmental and energy technologies, management, and regulatory developments. It also creates networking opportunities to help members work together for mutual benefit and teaming.