Company Notebook Departments

Company Notebook

UMass Innovation Institute Forges Links Between Research, Industry

AMHERST — The UMass Innovation Institute (UMII) is accelerating connections between private business and advanced science and technology available in campus laboratories at UMass Amherst. Its most recent initiative is a five-year strategic partnership with BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, to develop new advanced materials for the automotive, building, construction, and energy industries. The new agreement was announced this week in Cambridge. The agreement between BASF and the UMII, along with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is called the North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials, and is expected to create 20 new postdoctoral positions at the three universities. In addition to the new agreement with BASF, the Innovation Institute, in its first year, hit an all-time high in generating $14.3 million in industry-research awards. The UMII, established in June 2011, expects to grow industrial supported research to about $30 million annually in five years and to become financially self-sustaining during this period. Additional income is anticipated from licensing and startups through the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property. James Capistran, executive director at UMII, says his organization is well on its way to meeting the initial goals. “Our key task is to quickly and efficiently move the new technologies and scientific capabilities developed in our laboratories at UMass Amherst into the real-world economy,” he said. “We have streamlined the process so that all parties to our agreements can realize the maximum benefit in a time frame that is responsive to the markets and business cycles.” Capistran also noted that, in addition to linking the top-notch researchers and scientists at UMass Amherst to the many high-technology businesses in Massachusetts and the New England region, UMII also plays a key role in boosting the overall reputation of UMass Amherst. “A lot of people in business know we do good work, but now they know we can move rapidly when developing new ideas and products.”


Arbors Kids to Open

New Childcare Center

EAST LONGMEADOW — The Arbors Kids will open an additional location at 126 Industrial Dr. in East Longmeadow, across from the Post Office. This will be the company’s largest childcare center, with a host of indoor and outdoor facilities. The new complex provides a full range of programs and activities, all under one roof. The center will house classrooms with interactive smart boards, indoor basketball courts, a turf field, an arcade, a music room, a dance studio, a cafeteria, a lounge, and more. The expansive space outdoors includes an inground pool and waterslides, a basketball court, soccer fields, a baseball field, and play areas. The new childcare center and summer camp will be opening this fall, and enrollment dates will be announced soon. The Arbors Kids provides childcare services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in a safe and nurturing environment, with a caring and professional staff. In addition, it offers summer camps and before- and after-school programs at locations throughout Greater Springfield. For more information, visit


Asnuntuck, Bay Path Sign

Joint-admissions Pact

Asnuntuck Community College and Bay Path College announced that a joint-admissions agreement has been approved by the two institutions. The agreement is designed to provide barrier-free movement from the associate’s degree to the baccalaureate and graduate degrees for students enrolled at ACC. The presidents of the two schools signed the agreement at the Asnuntuck campus on March 5. Multiple opportunities will be afforded to ACC students choosing to take advantage of the agreement. Students participating in the process will receive consideration for various merit-based scholarships, they will be able to obtain jointly supported advisement, and students will be afforded early and conditional acceptance into graduate-school programs.

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