FRAMINGHAM – Today, October 5, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.075 million in grants to 28 organizations in 22 communities throughout the Commonwealth to strengthen community-based innovation and entrepreneurship.
Among the grants was $99.781 to the Framingham Makerspace Inc.
The sixth round of the Collaborative Workspace Program, administered by MassDevelopment, aims to accelerate business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally based innovation.
“Massachusetts remains a leader in innovation, with collaborative workspaces providing professionals in every kind of industry a place to test new ideas, explore talents, and engage with peers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to award these grants to organizations across the state to boost innovation and job creation.”
“Across the Commonwealth, collaborative workspaces such as makerspaces, artist spaces, shared kitchens, and more have breathed new life into downtown buildings and created room for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Congratulations to today’s awardees, who will now be able to build out their workspaces with new equipment and features or explore the feasibility of a new workspace in their community.”
The Framingham Makerspace, Inc. helps new and experienced makers fabricate projects through tools and training.
The organization will use this grant to attract a diverse new set of makers – including fiber arts makers, soap makers, woodshop makers, and computer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) users – by building and equipping a fiber arts lab, installing a three-bowl sink for soap makers, improving the existing woodshop with additional tools necessary for professional quality fabrication, and adding three CAD/CAM workstations.
Framingham Makerspace Inc. is located 28 John H. Finley III Way in Saxonville section of the City of Framingham.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera as well as Representatives Marcos Devers, Frank Moran, Linda Dean Campbell, and Christina Minicucci, and Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, to announce the awards today at 60 Vibe in Lawrence.
“MassDevelopment’s Collaborative Workspace Program creates jobs by supporting the physical infrastructure where entrepreneurs can learn a new craft or launch a business,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “Now in its sixth year, we’re seeing how the program has engaged more than 10,000 users in communities across the Commonwealth.”
“MassDevelopment is proud to administer the Collaborative Workspace Program, a vehicle for the Commonwealth to invest in alternative workplaces where makers, artists, chefs, and other professionals can make their dreams a reality,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Collaborative workspaces offer resources such as shared tools and equipment, mentoring and educational programming, and peer-to-peer support that create real economic opportunities for their members.”
In May 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment announced the opening of the sixth round of Collaborative Workspace Program grants. Eligible organizations could apply for seed grants of up to $15,000 to study the feasibility of new collaborative workspaces or fit-out grants of up to $100,000 for new equipment or building improvements, including adjustments to help spaces adhere to the social distancing and health and safety standards outlined in the Commonwealth’s sector-specific COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards.
Since its inception in the fall of 2014, and through FY2021, the Collaborative Workspace Program has provided more than $9.8 million in 164 awards for the planning, development, and build-out of different types of collaborative workspaces. Through the first five rounds of the program, collaborative workspaces have added 10,106 users since implementing their grant-funded projects, and occupy approximately 1,013,593 square feet in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Many awards have benefited innovation spaces in Gateway Cities.