Our mission

The Berkshire Innovation Center will increase the innovation capacity, workforce skills, and growth potential of manufacturers in the Berkshire Region.

The Berkshire Innovation Center expands the innovation capacity and growth potential of private industry by providing advanced capabilities to manufacturers in the Berkshires region - primarily small and medium sized companies (and startups) in life sciences, the life sciences supply chain, advanced manufacturing, and technology.  The goal is to enable and accelerate the growth of the manufacturing sector with the ultimate objective of spurring economic growth, job creation and retention, and investment in the region.

Our history

Developing the Plan

The Berkshire Innovation Center ("BIC") is the result of a $9.7 million capital grant awarded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to the City of Pittsfield in May, 2014 for the design, construction, and equipping of a 20,000 sq. ft. innovation center to be located at William Stanley Business Park, the former site of General Electric.  Groundbreaking is expected by 2nd quarter 2018.  The grant was awarded after a year-long comprehensive feasibility study and business planning process conducted by New England Expansion Strategies, which involved face to face meetings with more than 80 key regional stakeholders including private sector companies, educational institutions, and state and local government officials.  The resultant BIC business plan is broadly and deeply supported by industry, academia, and government throughout the region. Prior to receiving the grant, the BIC received 19 Letters of Intent to join the BIC by private sector companies and also formalized partnerships with 10 of the leading educational and research institutions in the region. The BIC will provide access to advanced capabilities for regional manufacturers including advanced R&D equipment, customized workforce training, state-of-the-art lab and training facilities, collaboration opportunities with BIC's renowned research partners, and internship/apprenticeship programs. Operationally, the BIC is a membership model designed to be self-sustainable and private sector driven.

Leadership & Partners

A Board of Directors was formed in July of 2015 and includes a regional "who's who" of leadership from industry and education.  B. Stephen Boyd, CEO of Boyd Technologies in Lee, MA, was elected as the BIC's first President and Chairman of the Board.  Rod Jané, President of New England Expansion Strategies, was hired as the BIC Project Director to manage the startup and development of the center and its programs. Berkshire Innovation Center, Inc. was established as a Massachusetts non-profit corporation in August, 2014 and subsequently received 501c3 tax exempt status in February, 2015.  General Dynamics Mission Systems and Berkshire Bank demonstrated their leadership by stepping up as major sponsors of the BIC in 2015 making contributions of $50,000 and $40,000 respectively. The final design of the 20,000 sq. ft. BIC facility has been completed and groundbreaking is expected by the third quarter of 2017.  Even though construction has not yet commenced, ten private sector companies have signed membership agreements and eight of them are already paying membership fees as Foundation Members.  The ten companies include Apex Resource Technologies, Boyd Technologies, Cavallero Plastics, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Interprint USA, Intertek PTL, MRA Laboratories, New Dalton Group, Sinicon Plastics, and Sonoco Plastics.  The BIC has also established formal partnerships with ten educational and research institutions including Berkshire Community College, UMass-Amherst, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), UMass-Lowell, SUNY Polytechnic Colleges of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Williams College, McCann Technical School, Taconic High School, and Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute.

Launching the Programs

Concurrent with the designing and planning of the facility, the BIC has already begun developing and launching its programs, which are delivering value to BIC member companies and partners.  The BIC Speaker Series was launched in January, 2015 and has conducted more than 10 speaking events with over 400 attendees focused on highly relevant topics to advanced manufacturers in the region.  The featured speakers for these events have included executives from the medical device industry, advanced equipment manufacturers, researchers from leading research universities in the region, workforce development leaders, and career center directors from colleges and universities in the region. The BIC Workforce Training Programs were launched in February, 2016 and have featured all-day training seminars on topics such as lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, thermoplastics for medical devices, and medical device regulations.  Finally, the first wave of advanced R&D equipment (acquired through grants by Berkshire Community College) arrived in July, 2016 and training for employees of BIC member companies on the advanced equipment is underway.  More than 20 employees from BIC member companies and partners have been trained as certified operators on the new equipment and another 22 people are expected to be trained by year end 2017.  During construction of the BIC facility, the equipment is being temporarily housed at Taconic High School and is now accessible and being used by BIC member companies and partners.  

 

Leadership
Rod Jané
Project Director

Berkshire Innovation Center...

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Board of Directors
B. Stephen Boyd
Chairman
Chief Executive Officer
Boyd Technologies, Inc.
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Donald Rochelo
Vice Chairman
Chairman & COO
Apex Resource Technologies
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David Allen
Director
President
Sinicon Plastics, Inc.
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James Brosnan
Director
Superintendent
McCann Technical School
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James Capistran
Director
Executive Director
UMass - Amherst
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James Castracane
Director
Head of Nanobioscience
SUNY Polytechnic CNSE
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Douglas Crane
Director
City Appointee
City of Pittsfield
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Phil Dore
Director
Chief Engineer
General Dynamics AIS
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Thomas Dunton
Director
Senior Manager, PPDC
SABIC Innovative Plastics
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James Galipeau
Director
Director & General Manager
Intertek PTL
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Nick Grizey
Director
Production Manager
Production Manager
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Monica Joslin
Director
Dean of Academic Affairs
MCLA
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Ellen Kennedy
Director
President
Berkshire Community College
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Scott Lundy
Director
Area Manufacturing Manager
Sonoco Plastics
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Robert Malloy
Director
Chair of Plastics Engineering
UMass - Lowell - Retired
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Stephen Sheppard
Director
Professor of Economics
Williams College
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Thomas Sommer
Director
President
MassMedic
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James Spencer, Jr.
Director
Director, Rensselaer Tech Park
RPI
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Peter Stasiowski
Director
Director of Communications
Interprint USA
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David Valicenti
Secretary
Partner
Cohen Kinne Valicenti Cook
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Bryon Sherman
Treasurer
Managing Partner
Smith Watson & Company
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Advisory Board
Peter Abair
Executive Director
MassBioEd Foundation
 
Brenda Burdick
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
General Dynamics Mission Systems
 
Scott Cawley
Vice President of Operations
Boyd Technologies, Inc.
 
Michael Fancher
Vice President for Business Development
SUNY Poly - Colleges of Nanoscale Science & Engineering
 
Andrew Finks
Senior Engineer
General Dynamics Mission Systems
 
Christine Hoyt
Assistant to the VP, Workforce Development
Berkshire Community College
 
Denise Johns
Director of Corporate Training
Berkshire Community College
 
Matthew Koons
Director of Sales
Boyd Technologies, Inc.
 
Sundar Krishnamurty
Site Director, NSF Center for e-Design
Professor & Department Head
UMass - Amherst
 
Sheila Leone Lucas
Manager, Innovation Sourcing Network
General Dynamics Mission Systems
 
Beth Michell
Director, Maritime & Strategic Systems Engineering
General Dynamics Mission Systems
 
William Mulholland
Vice President, Workforce Development - Retired
Berkshire Community College
 
David Pedrotti
President
Modern Mold & Tool, Inc.
 
Steve Rock
Research Scientist
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
 
Brianna Sporbert
Director Sourcebook Engineering
Boyd Technologies, Inc.
 
James Stakenas
VP of Finance & Administration - Retired
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA)
 
Michael Taylor
Director, Bronfman Science Shop
Williams College
 
Cindie Vincent
Director, Talent Development & Internal Communications
General Dynamics Mission Systems
 
Christina Wynn
Director of Marketing & Student Recruitment
Berkshire Community College                                                                         

 

 

Our Members, Partners, and Sponsors