Governor Mitt Romney today announced a new initiative – Massachusetts Business Connect – to help companies build business relationships that will create new deals and jobs in the state.
"By connecting companies to the unique advantages of Massachusetts – our highly skilled workforce, leading research universities and cutting-edge industries – we can help the Commonwealth grow and add jobs," said Romney.
The two Massachusetts Business Connect goals are:
Connecting major, industry-leading firms with Bay State companies and research universities to create new deals and investment opportunities; and
Connecting industry-leading firms with Massachusetts resources to solve short and long-term economic development concerns such as closing workforce skill gaps, helping companies and industry sectors expand within the state and marketing regional advantages.
"Corporate R&D funding is a major source of revenue for research universities and UMass Lowell is aggressively pursuing relationships with major corporations," said Chancellor Dr. William T. Hogan. "Massachusetts Business Connect will help us meet companies that can use our research capabilities in areas like materials science and nanotechnology."
With the flat growth in federal sources of funding for R&D, competition is growing among states to attract more private-sector R&D dollars. With its high concentration of leading companies and research universities, Massachusetts is well positioned to significantly increase its share of R&D funding coming into the state.
"Building stronger relationships between major corporations, our growing businesses and research universities ultimately makes the Massachusetts economy stronger and creates jobs," said Senate President Robert E. Travaglini.
"By forming stronger connections between all parts of our economy, Massachusetts will see more robust statewide economic development growth," said Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi.
Massachusetts Business Connect is built upon the success of a highly-customized series of meetings the Executive Office of Economic Development (EED) organized with Procter & Gamble in 2005 after the company announced it would acquire Gillette. Rather than viewing P&G's acquisition of Gillette as a negative, EED aggressively marketed Massachusetts businesses and research universities to P&G, which has an annual research and development budget of $2 billion.
As a result of these meetings, P&G has identified potential new R&D partnership opportunities with several Massachusetts companies and research universities.
"Worcester Polytechnic Institute greatly benefited from the P&G meetings organized by the Governor's office and we look forward to participating in the Massachusetts Business Connect initiative," said Carol Simpson, Provost and Senior Vice President of WPI. "The goals of the initiative align well with WPI's mission of advancing science and technology education and research to solve real world problems."
"Massachusetts Business Connect will help small businesses such as Triton grow," said George Kachen, Vice President of Business Development for Chelmsford-based Triton Systems. "The initiative with P&G is an excellent example of exposing Fortune 1000 firms to the many innovative businesses in Massachusetts that are developing cutting-edge technology in an intensive, customized and focused manner."
"We can increase private-sector investment for Massachusetts businesses and universities when we help them form new business relationships," said Ranch C. Kimball, Secretary of Economic Development. "Governor Romney and I understand the value in connecting what we have here with what the world seeks."
Today's launch of Massachusetts Business Connect is yet another effort by the Romney Administration to reform the way the state works with businesses and to help preserve and create new jobs.
The program follows the comprehensive economic stimulus package Romney filed a year ago to spur investment and job growth, expedite the permitting process and lower the highest-in-the-nation cost of unemployment insurance. That bill is still pending, and Romney urged the Legislature to complete work on these much-needed initiatives.