Photo of Science Associate Kimberly Starbuck (UMB, M.S. '08), MOP founder Robbin Peach, and Prassede Vella (UMB, Ph.D. candidate) of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

Massachusetts Innovation Engine

Pursuing solutions from classrooms to companies, the University’s focus on innovation drives the state’s economy

Above right: Science Associate Kimberly Starbuck (UMB, M.S. ’08), MOP founder Robbin Peach, and Prassede Vella (UMB, Ph.D. candidate) of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

J. Keith Motley, Ph.D. Chancellor, UMass Boston

“We use our strength as a research university to create new knowledge, address social problems, inform public policy, and support the economic and social welfare of the Commonwealth.”

J. Keith Motley, Ph.D.
Chancellor, UMass Boston

UMass takes on real world matters through innovative research, including studies undertaken by the UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies and the UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).

UMass at the crest of ocean management

The University of Massachusetts Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies is working to protect the potential of the sea with the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership (MOP), a university/stakeholder consortium designed to advance ecosystem-based management of the Commonwealth’s coastal waters.

The initiative is supported by an $8.2 million private grant—the largest UMass Boston has ever received—from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a California-based group that rarely funds East Coast projects. With additional funding from the UMass President’s Office, the MOP has helped Massachusetts to create the nation’s first multi-use ocean management plan that integrates public outreach, robust scientific data, and effective planning tools to streamline competing uses of ocean resources.

Photo of students Kenna Wilkie, Ambarish Karmalkar, and Sebastian Koenig work with UMass Amherst professor Rob DeConto on global climate dynamics

Above (L-R): students Kenna Wilkie, Ambarish Karmalkar, and Sebastian Koenig work with UMass Amherst professor Rob DeConto on global climate dynamics

Human impact is changing coastal and marine ecosystems, compromising beaches, seafood, and storm and flood protection. The MOP creates forums designed to reach solutions to these regional ocean management issues. Its work highlights the importance of balancing ocean use, including such technology as renewable marine energy, and supports policies that drive economic recovery while defending critical ocean habitats.

Robbin E. Peach, M.P.A., founder of the MOP and director of the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security at UMass Boston, specializes in public-private partnerships that have garnered more than $50 million for the Commonwealth’s environment. The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security, an alliance between the College of Science and Math, McCormack School, and the Venture Development Center, focuses on resilient coastal communities, climate adaptation strategies, and human/national security.

UMass takes on real world matters through innovative research, including studies undertaken by the UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies and the UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).

In today’s global economy, university-based innovation ensures a strong fiscal future for Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts provides the knowledge and manpower crucial to advancing the state’s innovation-based economy.

Driven by our faculty, the five University of Massachusetts campuses support the Commonwealth’s innovation ecosystem with talent, ideas, and discoveries that generate jobs, inspire new companies, and encourage industry partnerships across the state. With 66,000 students, the University produces 12,600 graduates per year—60 percent of whom will stay in Massachusetts for their careers.

According to a recent economic impact study, UMass contributed to $4 billion of economic activity in Massachusetts in Fiscal 2009 through local operating and construction expenditures; and resident faculty, staff, and student spending. These outlays helped to support an estimated 15,000 additional jobs throughout the Commonwealth, yielding a total of more than 37,700 jobs. The Commonwealth’s $540 million support of UMass accounts for 22 percent of the University’s $2.4 billion total operating budget, providing excellent return on investment for the Commonwealth.

Since 2004, the President’s groundbreaking Faculty Science and Technology and Creative Economy Initiatives have provided seed funding for faculty research in science, engineering, arts, humanities, and social sciences. In Fiscal 2009, UMass awarded $1 million to faculty, with President Jack M. Wilson noting: “The University’s support of research and scholarship is central to its academic mission—these grants are among the tools we use to retain world-class faculty, enrich our students’ learning experiences, and apply the University’s intellectual resources to solve global, national, and local problems.”

With support from the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property, the innovation-related income on each of our five campuses has risen steadily during the last decade, most successfully at the Medical School. The University’s intellectual property licensing income soared to a record $73 million, up from $37 million the previous year—a performance that likely will catapult UMass into the intellectual property income top 10 nationwide. UMass expended $489 million in research and development in Fiscal 2009, proving its commitment to generating powerful activity and results in the economic sector.