Northeastern University is poised to change the biotechnology and manufacturing landscape of the Northeast, with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The university was selected among a competitive pool of 529 applicants to receive a federal grant as part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge—a program designed to boost pandemic recovery and rebuild communities across the country. The $500,000 award will be used to lay the foundation for a proposal to expand biomanufacturing across Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, said Jared Auclair, associate dean of professional program and graduate affairs in the College of Science at Northeastern.
“The concept is to take Cambridge as the hub of biotech research and push it out west, north, and south, to really support biomanufacturing workforce development” across the region, Auclair, the project’s principal investigator, said.
Northeastern is one of 60 applicants selected by officials from the federal Economic Development Administration to receive the first round of funding. The remaining applicants, including Northeastern, have until March to build out their proposals and compete for the final round of funding. The administration will winnow down the applicants by at least half, and 20-30 proposals will be awarded between $75 and $100 million to see their projects to fruition.