Senator led federal push with Rep. Joe Kennedy for Massachusetts bid

Boston (April 1, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today celebrated news that Massachusetts has been selected by the Department of Defense to host a $317 million Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the institute will be a public-private consortium spanning 28 states and dedicated to emerging technologies in fibers and textiles. Today, Senator Markey joined Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Governor Charlie Baker, Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf at MIT to announce the new institute.

“Since 1821, when one of the first manufacturing mills in the United States was built in Waltham, Massachusetts has led our nation and the world in advancements in manufacturing and technology,” said Senator Markey. “Today, the looms of Lowell have given way to the labs of Cambridge and this new institute will help ensure that both Massachusetts and the United States expand our technological edge in a new generation of fiber science. I thank MIT President Reif and Professor Fink for their efforts to realize the vision for the future of education at MIT and around the world and Secretary Carter for his commitment to maintaining our nation’s technological leadership through our military and defense operations.”

The new institute will be named Advanced Functional Fibers of America (AFFOA) and includes 31 universities, 16 industry members, 72 manufacturing entities, and 26 startup incubators, spread across 28 states. This is the eighth Manufacturing Innovation Institute established to date, and the first to be headquartered in New England. The headquarters will be established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in proximity to the MIT campus and the U.S. Army-funded Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology.

A copy of the letter led by Senator Markey and Rep. Kennedy to secure funding for the new institute can be found HERE.