About WPI’s Economic Impact

WPI was founded on the premise of supporting the economic development of the region, and today the university’s real-world, project-based curriculum also reflects its connection to industry and economic development. WPI is engaged in numerous industry and academic research partnerships in such areas as robotics, energy, metals, and healthcare.

Intellectual Property and Innovation

  • WPI faculty recently launched the Apprendis and VitaThreads companies. To date they have raised approximately $300,000 and created four jobs.
  • WPI has also signed a license agreement with a new company, Centauri, formed around surgical robotic technology. It is completing its round of financing and plans to create three jobs. 

Community partner

WPI plays an important role in bringing new business to the Worcester region through the student and alumni base, and by partnering with the state and the city. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • To date, the Tech Advisors Network has benefitted students, faculty, alumni, and friends of WPI by connecting 60 advisors with approximately 30 teams to provide advising/networking support for entrepreneurs.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiatives have been added:
    • Innovator of the Year
    • Strategy Summits
    • Accelerator Fund; Entrepreneur-in-Residence
    • Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • WPI now has affiliations with Massachusetts Biomedical Incubator (MBI), UMass Medical School, and the Running Start Incubator
  • WPI is developing relationships with Common Angels, Project 11, and Mass Ventures.

Highlighting Worcester

WPI brings tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year for open houses, sports events, conferences, commencement, and theatre and musical productions.

The Venture Forum

WPI founded—and now supports—the Venture Forum, a tech-based entrepreneurship program serving to connect the three most important components of starting a business: entrepreneurs, investment, and business services.

Academic and Corporate Development

In the past year, WPI has partnered with approximately 40 companies from such diverse industries as defense, utilities, biomanufacturing, healthcare, high tech, manufacturing, fire protection, and medical devices—training approximately 2,300 working professionals—to deliver customized education solutions that are designed to help them gain or maintain a competitive edge.

Examples:

  • Biogen Idec: science/business graduate programs on-site and professional development at the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center
  • United Technologies Corp.: engineering/business graduate programs on-site and online
  • Hittite: project management training

World-class faculty

WPI attracts world-class faculty, bringing millions of federal and private research dollars to the city.

Gateway Park

Gateway Park is an 11-acre, mixed-use destination. The project’s design includes five life sciences buildings totaling 500,000 square feet of flexible, adaptable lab space designed to meet the needs of research organizations. This comprehensive urban redevelopment project transformed a blighted and underutilized area in the core of the city into a clean, thriving, mixed-use park that is home to a growing range of academic, research, and commercial enterprises.

  • WPI’s 125,000-square-foot Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center opened in 2007 and is fully occupied with graduate research laboratories, life science companies, state-of-the-art core facilities, and WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education division.

In 2007 the U.S. Department of Commerce gave Gateway Park the Excellence in Economic Development Award for Urban or Suburban Economic Development. In 2008 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts designated Gateway Park as the anchor for the state's first Growth District, an initiative to accelerate job creation in locations that are primed and ready for development.

  • Gateway II is a $32 million, four-story facility that houses laboratory, educational, and office spaces for a range of academic (WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering, Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center (BETC), the university’s Tech Transfer offices, and the Robert A. Foisie School of Business), the MBI biotech incubator (supporting start-ups), and corporate uses. The 92,000-square-foot building was built, and is owned, by the O’Connell Development Group (ODG) of Holyoke, Mass.

Investment in Gateway Park to date:            

  • Federal Investment: $22.5 million
  • WPI Investment: $110.5 million