Bio research and manufacturing institute to be based in Manchester

U.S. Department of Defense will award $80 million over five years to institute led by New Hampshire-based organizations
Courtesy photo
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen|!!| D-NH|!!| and Kelly Ayotte|!!| R-NH|!!| and Governor Maggie Hassan|!!| D-NH|!!| (not pictured) announced an DOD $80 million award to establish a bio research and manufacturing institute in Manchester.

On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and Governor Maggie Hassan, D-NH, announced that the Department of Defense will award $80 million over five years to establish a bio research and manufacturing institute in the Manchester Millyard.

The institute — led by a coalition that includes DEKA Research & Development Corporation, the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth-Hitchcock — will be tasked with developing and bio-manufacturing tissues and organs that can be transplanted into patients, particularly injured American service members.

Shaheen and Ayotte — members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — and Hassan were strong supporters of locating the institute in Manchester and sent a letter in July to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in support of the coalition’s bid, according to a press release from Shaheen's office.

“This is a monumental investment in the future of New Hampshire, and further establishes this region as a hub for scientific research and development,” said Shaheen, Ayotte and Hassan. “This award will bring good jobs to Manchester, complementing our region’s emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. This is a very exciting opportunity for our state’s college graduates to work on the cutting edge of biomedical research. This is an immense and critically important mission, and we have full faith in this esteemed coalition as they take on this research that will save lives on the battlefield as well as here at home.”  

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), Inc., is the third new Manufacturing USA institute announced by the Obama Administration in three weeks. Two other hubs announced are the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, the first open-topic institute and the first institute awarded by the Department of Commerce, headquartered in Newark, Del., and the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Institute, awarded by the Department of Energy, headquartered in New York, N.Y.

Manufacturing USA — also known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation — is a network of now 12 institutes with 1,000 members that have been established or announced over the past four years, according to a White House press release. The manufacturing institutes are public-private partnerships with distinct technology focus areas but share a broad goal to build manufacturing innovation and train workers for a stronger manufacturing sector. Across the Manufacturing USA institutes, the Federal government has committed over $850 million, which has been matched by more than $1.8 billion in non-federal investment. The funding originates from the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation bill, passed in 2015, formally authorizing the program.

In the letter sent this summer, Shaheen, Ayotte and Hassan argued, “Locating this program in Manchester is a logical next-step for a city with a long history of innovation, strong public-private partnerships and a robust pipeline of students educated in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines…Just as they are populating the start-ups and companies inside Manchester, these young graduates could form the core of the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute and help lead its exciting and groundbreaking work. We strongly support this application for hosting ATB-MII and urge your serious consideration of its proposal.”

ARMI will focus on improving the availability, reproducibility, accessibility and standardization of manufacturing materials, technologies and processes to create tissue and organ products. It will convene leaders from a multitude of disciplines, from cell biology and bioengineering to materials science and computer modeling, to develop high-throughput culture and 3D biofabication techniques to non-invasive, real-time testing and sensing to measure the viability of engineered tissue constructs, according to the White House. 

Industry partners include: Abbott, Autodesk, Becton Dickinson, CelularityDEKA Research & Development, GenCureHumacyteLonza, Medtronic, Rockwell Automation, and United Therapeutics.

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